Village eco homes given thumbs up

A PAIR of ‘super green’ houses have been given the nod by Peak planning bosses.

The two new houses will be built into the side of Bradford Dale on the edge of Youlgrave, much to eco campaigners’ delight.

Peak District National Park approved the house designs, which include modern sustainable features such as efficient insulation, passive solar heating, photo voltaic cells, green roofs, and rain water harvesting.

The authority’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the earth sheltered dwellings against the recommendations of its own planning officers.

The people applying to build the houses already live in the village, which caused some controversy because the national park authority’s planning policies state that new houses can only be built for, and occupied by, local people in need of housing.

John King, planning officer from countryside charity Friends of the Peak District, said: “We know this is potentially a tricky one, but actually it means that four local needs dwellings will be added to Youlgrave’s housing stock.

“The applicants already live in Youlgrave and they want to move into the new houses.

“But they are willing to sign a legal undertaking to say that the two new houses – and the two houses that they are moving from – will comply with the national park authority’s local occupancy rules.

“So building these two new houses will reap four properties ring–fenced for local people in the future.”

The scheme is supported by Youlgrave Parish Council and there were no objections to it.

“The applicants have lived in the village for over ten years and are respected members of the local community,” said John.

“The houses have brilliant green design features, and they won’t have any significant impact on the landscape.

“It means more houses for local people.”

The proposal is contrary to the authority’s planning policy, which prevents new dwellings if the occupier isn’t in need of accommodation, the decision must be ratified at the next full authority meeting.