Green retirement house dream

A HUSBAND and wife look could have their hopes of building their own green retirement home dashed by councillors.Pam and Philip Redman have applied for planning consent to Mid Suffolk District Council for a three-bedroom eco house at Offton, near Ipswich - complete with grass roof and condensed soil for the walls.

A HUSBAND and wife look could have their hopes of building their own green retirement home dashed by councillors.

Pam and Philip Redman have applied for planning consent to Mid Suffolk District Council for a three-bedroom eco house at Offton, near Ipswich - complete with grass roof and condensed soil for the walls.

Andrew Stringer, a Green mid Suffolk district councillor, has praised the house. The parish council, residents and Michael Lord, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich have also backed the eco-house.

However, planning officers have recommended councillors refuse planning consent because the home is in the countryside and not within the village settlement boundary. The council is also unhappy with the eco house design.

The couple have lived in the village for 20 years, and their new home will include 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 and see the eco house as a their chance to stay in a rural community.

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They hope to sell off the farmhouse with five acres, and build their eco-house on the remaining three acres, which includes woods and ponds.

Mrs Redman, has been undergoing chemotherapy and her husband, 74, is suffering from Alzheimer's, has diabetes and is disabled.

The new eco home would be on one storey and wheelchair friendly, unlike their current 16th century home, which cannot be adapted.

Mrs Redman, 61, who runs the smallholding, said: "I have lived in the countryside all my life. For over 20 years Philip and I have run our farm in Offton, taking part in the village's many activities. This area's tight knit community is where we belong.

"Philip's worsening medical condition means he will soon be wheelchair bound. This, coupled with my own temporary ill health, has made us reassess our situation and look for a more appropriate home and lifestyle.

"Replacing a derelict concrete building (for farm storage) with a grass-roofed home set in to the hillside will have a positive effect on the surrounding landscape."

Mr Redman, a retired pipe maker, said the chance to stay in a village where they have received a lot of support from people means a lot to them.

The council's planning referral committee will discuss the application

tomorrow.

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