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Plans unveiled for new eco-house

PUBLISHED: 16:09 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:25 05 July 2010

PLAN: An artist's impression of the eco-house.

PLAN: An artist's impression of the eco-house.

PLANS have been unveiled for what is believed to be the first earth-sheltered eco-house in East Anglia on a former paddock close to the parish church, at Wangford.

PLANS have been unveiled for what is believed to be the first earth-sheltered eco-house in East Anglia on a former paddock close to the parish church, at Wangford.

Stephen Clarke, who was born in the village and is the third generation of his family living in Wangford, believes the proposed home will offer the best possible solution for the site.

“I have lived opposite this site for 45 years and remember it as a lovely paddock. In more recent times it has become overgrown but we want to see it looking good again. This is why we asked our architect to come up with a scheme that had a home on the site but would also give the village the green area it deserves,” he said.

The scheme for the site also includes a beehive sanctuary.

Architect Vaughan Keal said: “We believe that the site was originally left outside of the settlement boundary when first drafted and restricted because they assumed a priory existed on the land, but it turned out the Victorian church was built directly on the priory and no part extends beyond the church grounds. This was recently acknowledged by Suffolk Archaeology to be the case following extensive research and digs on the site.”

The site is a conservation area and AONB close to the grade one listed church of St Peter and St Paul, in Church Road, which has led to the “sensitive” design approach.

“The proposed family house is built into an existing bank at the rear of the site. It preserves the setting of the church and the neighbours' views. The upper ground level planting runs over the roof,” said Mr Keal.

People living nearby have differing views on the application.

Many are supportive but there are those who believe the application should be refused.

Wangford Parish Council is recommending refusal as members believe it is against Local Plan Policy.

A statement from the design and conservation department at Waveney District Council said: “This is a high quality proposal, offering an ingenious use of the site, and would be largely concealed from all angles. Nevertheless, the site is outside the village limits and therefore any proposal to build a dwelling here would be contrary to policy.”

Mr Veal said there was “a very strong case” for the application to be approved and that it would act as a model example of what the government and environmentalists are seeking to achieve as well as providing Wangford with a good 21st Century building.

Waveney District Council's planning committee will discuss the application in the forthcoming weeks.

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