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