Eco home hopes dashed by councillors

A HUSBAND and wife have spoken of their bitter disappointment after councillors refused planning consent for their green eco home.Pam and Philip Redman applied for planning permission to Mid Suffolk District Council for a three-bedroom retirement house at Offton, near Ipswich.

A HUSBAND and wife have spoken of their bitter disappointment after councillors refused planning consent for their green eco home.

Pam and Philip Redman applied for planning permission to Mid Suffolk District Council for a three-bedroom retirement house at Offton, near Ipswich.

But yesterdaythe council's planning referral committee voted seven to three against granting planning permission, with five councillors abstaining.

Mrs Redman branded the decision the 'pits' and said the new home, with its unique design, presented the opportunity to create 'an exceptional and sustainable home' in mid Suffolk.


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Some councillors believed the eco-house would add to the village and allow an old derelict barn to be demolished on the site.

Andrew Stringer, a Green district councillor, said the entire community was behind the eco-home and he argued strongly that it should go-ahead.

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But Ray Melvin, district councillor, said while he was moved by the couple's plight and the huge community support, there was no planning reasons in favour, a fact that swayed other councillors.

The home would have included sun panels for solar energy, and a wood burner using timber and chippings from their smallholding's wood.

The couple currently own Mount Pleasant Farm, an eight acre small holding.

Mrs Redman, 61, who has been undergoing chemotherapy and runs the smallholding, said: "This is such a disappointment, we do not know what we will do now.

"This would have been our retirement house, we can't carry on living where we are living. We hope we will not have to move away from the village, but there are very few bungalows.

"We've been absolutely delighted by the strength of support for this scheme which we've received from neighbours, the parish council, and Sir Michael Lord MP.

She said: "We believed that our new home, with its unique design, presented the opportunity to create an exceptional and sustainable home in mid Suffolk. This decision is the pits."

Mr Redman, 74, who suffers from Alzheimer's, diabetes and is disabled said pursuing their dream of staying in a village where they have received a lot of support from people meant a lot to them.

Councillors were recommended to refuse planning consent because the home was not within the village settlement boundary and was not of an exceptional design.

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