Plan for eco-house welcomed

FOR most people, building a new home can be a bit of a challenge. With construction work to oversee, bathroom suites to choose and gardens to landscape, the work can seem never ending.

FOR most people, building a new home can be a bit of a challenge. With construction work to oversee, bathroom suites to choose and gardens to landscape, the work can seem never ending.

But one Suffolk woman has much more than paint schemes at the top of her list of priorities.

Virginia Neild, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket, is planning to create a house that is a friend to the environment, as well as her bank balance.

Not only will it be so heavily insulated that there will be no need for central heating, Mrs Neild hopes to win permission from council planners to erect a 12-metre wind turbine to power most, or all, of her electricity.


You may also want to watch:


She also plans to harvest rainwater to carry out everyday tasks such as flushing the toilet, bathing, using the washing machine, and watering the garden.

“It is something that has been in the back of my mind for some time, so when I was offered the chance to buy my neighbour's house, I decided to take the opportunity to go down the environmentally friendly route,” said Mrs Neild, 64, who has already won planning permission for a replacement property on the site.

Most Read

“There is so much publicity about environmentally friendly homes, and I feel lucky to have been given this wonderful opportunity to go in this direction.

“I am really in favour of doing what I can for the environment. I have always been careful about how much electricity and fuel I use, and this will mean my living expenses will also be considerably less.”

The turbine - an application for which has been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council - will be mounted on a free-standing tower, with a rotor diameter of 5.4 metres.

It has been designed to give a low noise output, have a minimal visual impact on its surroundings, and is expected to generate an average of 9,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is equivalent to a saving of nearly 4,300kg of carbon dioxide.

The capacity would also help to contribute towards the regional targets for renewable energy generation for 2010.

“The proposed site of the turbine is such as not to be seen by my neighbour from her conservatory, and I am also planning a double hedge which, in time, will block the view of the turbine from the road,” said Mrs Neild.

Adrian Murrell, projects officer at the Green Light Trust - which last month won an award for its environmentally friendly charity headquarters in Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds - said Mrs Neild's vision for her new home was “wonderful”.

“It has always baffled me why someone would use drinking water to flush a toilet, and it is a massive waste of resources,” he said.

“A lot of these technologies, like erecting a wind turbine, are fairly simple, and would cut out carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

“We cannot continue to consume the resources that we have been doing for the past 50 years, and if more people did what Mrs Neild is planning to do, we would not have the problems with climate change that we have got at the moment.

“It is not a luxury, but a necessity, that more people think and behave like her.”

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter