Eco-couple told to pull down their ‘hobbit home’ made entirely out of natural materials . . . but without planning permission

August 2, 2013 12:11 pm 4 comments Views: 7954
  • Family of three is made homeless by planning inspector’s decision
  • They built their home from scratch, but have been ordered to tear it down
  • The couple admit they built it without first getting planning permission
  • Their labour of love was branded ‘harmful’ to the countryside

article-2382684-1B193761000005DC-146_306x462A young couple have been left heartbroken after planners ordered their unique ‘hobbit home’ to be bulldozed, effectively leaving them homeless.

Charlie Hague and Megan Williams, both 25, built the roundhouse from scratch with their own hands, using only natural materials.

But the couple lost their appeal today against a planning enforcement notice telling them to tear their pride and joy home down.

Charlie and Megan, who have a one-year-old son Eli, built the house on private land in Glandwr, North Pembrokeshire, last summer.

Locals nicknamed it the hobbit home, although most people did not even know it was there because it is so secluded.

But Pembrokeshire County Council ordered the couple to demolish their home because it was built without planning permission.

Charlie and Megan, who live a self-sufficient lifestyle, fought the decision claiming it had a low impact on the environment because of its unique construction.

Charlie, a sculptor and woodworker, said: ‘We built this house to provide our son with a healthy environment to grow up in. 

‘We were born in the area, went to school here, and have lived here all our lives. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’

The pair acknowledged their property was built without prior consent but said there was no other way for them to afford their own home. 

Megan said: ‘I know it’s not a possibility for everyone, and our situation here is unique, but if young people are to live and work in the area they need somewhere to live.’

The couple’s appeal was dismissed by planning inspector Iwan Lloyd, who ruled the development harmed the character and appearance of the countryside.

The inspector upheld the council’s enforcement notice, which requires the roundhouse and all associated work, including the timber decking, be demolished.

Middle Earth: Charlie Hague and Megan Williams' home has been compared to a hobbit's. But the couple have been ordered to tear their idyllic dwelling down by a killjoy councilMiddle Earth: Charlie Hague and Megan Williams’ home has been compared to a hobbit’s. The couple have been ordered to tear their idyllic dwelling down

Hobbits: The three-foot tall manlike creatures were made famous in JRR Tolkein's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. Picture here, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyHobbits: The three-foot tall manlike creatures were made famous in JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. Picture here, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The order gives the couple two months to return the land to its previous condition.

Mr Lloyd’s report stated: ‘The character and appearance of the countryside should be protected for its intrinsic sake.

The benefits of a low-impact development do not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.’

Friends said the couple were half expecting their appeal to be turned down but were still ‘devastated’ by the decision.

Unique: The couple's front room, complete. They started building their house using only naturally resourced materials last yearUnique: The couple’s front room, complete. They started building their house using only naturally resourced materials last year

Treebeard: The couple have used a whole tree as a supporting structure for their home, fondly nicknamed the 'hobbit house' by localsTreebeard: The couple have used a whole tree as a supporting structure for their home, fondly nicknamed the ‘hobbit house’ by locals

Killjoy council: The couple have been unable to convince the authorities to let them keep their unique homeKilljoy council: The couple have been unable to convince the authorities of the merits of their eco friendly house

One friend said: ‘They are heartbroken – the roundhouse is a thing of great beauty which they put their hearts and souls into.

They are a young couple who should be applauded for solving their own housing issues by creating a sustainable home out of local materials.

Instead they are now facing the prospect of watching it being razed to the ground.’

The couple have one last chance – they have applied for retrospective planning permission but their friends said they feared it was a lost cause.

Darkness falls: The lights will go out on the couple's home for good unless they can overturn the Planning Inspectorate's decisionDarkness falls: The lights will go out on the couple’s home for good unless they can overturn the Planning Inspectorate’s decision

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  • http://www.CasaMirafloresCali.com Nate Bunger

    This is a big reason I left the United States…I now live in South America, where something like this would never happen in many areas. I was a home building in the US for many years, and just got fed up over all the permits you had to get, just to build a rock wall. It’s really sad, that house is an incredible work of art.

  • http://wouldobserver Amma

    Wot a beautiful home and such art I think they should be allowed to keep their home It obviously took a long time to get it finished so why should it be a problem now? And the locals aren’t complaining if any I would say it benefits the environment.

  • http://facebook.com Sabina

    This is sad, the house is so good and a real piece of art, they should be awarded, but no. What a waste of all efforts and feelings put in this house, which was their heaven.

  • Brad

    Talk about government intrusion in people’s lives…..

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