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Plans for eco-homes with allotments and orchard turned down

PUBLISHED: 11:38 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:38 24 August 2018

Impressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham, complete with orchard. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael Lockwood

Impressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham, complete with orchard. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael Lockwood

South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael Lockwood

Plans to build five solar-powered eco-houses complete with their own allotments and orchard have been turned down as being out of keeping with a Norfolk village.

Eco-homes plans were judged unsympathic to Grade I listed All Saints Church in Wreningham. Picture: Archant LibraryEco-homes plans were judged unsympathic to Grade I listed All Saints Church in Wreningham. Picture: Archant Library

The proposals for Church Meadow in Wreningham, which would have offered residents the ‘Good Life’ dream of food and energy self-sufficiency, were refused by planners as the layout was not characteristic of Wreningham and did not preserve the setting of the Grade I listed All Saints Church.

The self-built custom houses would have boasted solar panels, measures to capture and re-use rain water and electric vehicle charging points.

In their application to South Norfolk Council developers Will and Rachael Lockwood, who had planned to live in one of the homes themselves, stated: “The development’s eco-credentials will be supported by solar power provision, with each dwelling to be provided with solar capabilities and capability to contribute spare electricity to the National Grid.

Impressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham included allotments. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael LockwoodImpressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham included allotments. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael Lockwood

“In addition, food self-sufficiency through the provision of an on-site allotment and use of the community orchard will be supported.”

They added that the development would be an L-shaped layout of Norfolk farmsteads with buildings having pitched roofs and black timbers in a bid to echo traditional barns.

However the plans drew local objections that it was out of keeping to the village.

Impressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham that were turned down. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael LockwoodImpressions of eco-homes on Church Meadow in Wreningham that were turned down. Picture: South Norfolk Council/Will and Rachael Lockwood

Objector Nigel Rudd, of Hethel Road, Wreningham, said: “The proposed properties would be visually stark properties and constructed in a straight line. They do not sit well in the context of a Grade I listed church. Neither is their style sympathetic to any other architecture within the village.

“Whilst communal style allotments sound appealing, these would sit between the front of these properties and the two facing roads. There is the potential for this to result in an unkempt and untidy visual appearance on, what is after all the main route into the village.”

Historic England had also objected on heritage grounds saying it would adversely affect the Grave I listed building by developing an important open space and the design would be incongruous.

Church Meadow in Wreningham next to All Saints Church were the development would be been built. Picture: GoogleChurch Meadow in Wreningham next to All Saints Church were the development would be been built. Picture: Google

David Eve, Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas, stated: “Both the change of use of the site and design of the proposed dwellings would cause harm to the setting and significance of All Saints Church.”

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