Low impact village planned for Norfolk
A group of like minded people from the Norwich area have come up with a plan for affordable green rural housing. The locally based Common Ground Co-operative has bought 20 acres of land in Ilketshall St Andrew and hopes to turn the site into a sustainable community of low impact environmentally friendly homes. Strawbale houses, carpentry workshops and fields of crops all feature in the designs for the new eco hamlet.
The plans include building 10 houses using locally produced straw, which would mean the dwellings had very little embodied energy, using solar power to provide energy, using cars as little as possible and keeping goats and chickens.
Unsurprisingly though some local residents say that the plans are not suitable for the area and that instead of providing housing for local people, the members of the new community will be coming in from elsewhere.
Waveney District Council has said that locating a new hamlet in open countryside is contrary to conventional planning policies, but that this application is unique and needs careful consideration.
In a report to planners, the Common Ground Co-operative said that its plan is to reduce carbon emissions while improving the biodiversity of the local environment.
The report said: “Common Ground believes that its project can deliver a 'win win' scenario through the combined use of low-impact, traditional building materials and best practice in modern technologies to produce carbon-neutral, low-cost, rural housing. Common Ground understands this is a potentially controversial project, has consulted with the community and believes that the project could be a flagship for sustainable communities in rural areas.”
Planning officers from Waveney District Council will visit the site before discussing the plans at a rural development control meeting in early February.
Waveney Valley Blog
Other low impact village links:
Lammas eco village
Low impact video and DVD
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