Woman's eco-dream moves closer

A WOMAN'S dream of turning her home into a self-sufficient eco-paradise is one step closer to realisation after she won the backing of council planners.

A WOMAN'S dream of turning her home into a self-sufficient eco-paradise is one step closer to realisation after she won the backing of council planners.

Virginia Neild, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket, is not only planning to create a house that is so heavily insulated there will be no need for central heating, she hopes to win consent to put up a 12-metre wind turbine that will power most or all of her electricity.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's planning officers have now pledged their support for her scheme by recommending her planning application is approved when it goes before members of the authority's development control committee.

But they will have to weigh the proposal against 13 letters of objection which have been sent to the council from residents in Cowlinge, who fear the turbine will impact on the surrounding landscape, would set a precedent for future applications, and claim the site is of archaeological importance.


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In a report to members, development control case officer Peter White said: “Local plan policies support renewable energy and will encourage proposals for wind turbines where they do not significantly affect visual amenity.

“The site proposed is in the remote countryside, incorporating telegraph poles, mobile phone masts and pylons. It would not result in any significant impact on the character or openness of the countryside or character of the area.”

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The report also states the site is in fact not identified with the council's records as being a site of archaeological interest, and that any disturbance from the turbine would not be enough to warrant an archaeological investigation.

Mrs Neild, who also plans to harvest rainwater to carry out tasks such as flushing her toilet, bathing, or using her washing machine, hopes to build her new house on land adjacent to her current home.

“I am really in favour of doing what I can for the environment,” she said. “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 planning application will be decided on January 4.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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