'Sensational' straw bale house for Stratford-upon-Avon approved

  • Published
Image source, BPN Architects
Image caption,
The straw bale home will be clad in wood

Proposals to build a house out of straw bales have been described as "sensational" by a planning committee.

They heard the four-bedroom building on a hill outside Stratford-upon-Avon will absorb carbon from the atmosphere, have a wooden roof and be clad in cedar shingles.

Stratford Town Council had opposed the home, because it would be outside a designated building-area.

But Stratford District Council passed the plans unanimously.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said Matt Jennings, one of the planning committee members, said: "The first thing that springs to mind is wow!

"A negative carbon dwelling and no trees will be harmed in the making. In my view this application is of exceptional design and satisfies all the requirements."

Image source, BPN Architects
Image caption,
The home will absorb more carbon than it emits, councillors were told

Phil Shepherd, from BPN Architects in Birmingham, told the planning committee meeting the building on Bordon Hill was designed to be hidden in the surrounding landscape and not affect views over Stratford.

He said all trees and hedgerows at the vacant overgrown site would be retained and that the need for concrete foundations was reduced, because it would follow the contours of the hill.

Image source, BPN Architects
Image caption,
Architect Phil Shepherd told councillors the plans had taken a year to develop

William Dowling, from Stratford Town Council, had objected to the plans and told the planning meeting: "In the opinion of the town council, the energy efficiency of the proposed dwelling does not in itself justify development in the countryside.

He argued it would set a "dangerous precedent" and added: "There are several examples of exceptional houses that have been built in the countryside but it is our opinion that this one isn't."

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