Building Officials in UK Allow Couple to Keep House Built Without Permits

The Good Life goes on! Couple who spent five years building an eco-home in the country have been allowed to keep it despite not applying for planning permission

Matthew Lepley, 34, and Jules Smith, 54, left London five years ago to build their dream house in the countryside. They decided not to apply for planning permission because the process “uses too much paper and electricity.” They used railway sleepers, lorry tyres, and scrap metal to build the house in Beaworthy, Devon, but no power tools. The home has an outdoor compost toilet, no power or running water, and an underground pantry instead of a fridge. The couple were told by Torridge District Council they may have to tear down their home after neighbours’ complaints. But now a government planning inspector has ruled that the house may stay because of its eco-credentials. Angry local residents say: “It’s disgusting how some people are treated one way and other people treated another way.”

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4 Responses to Building Officials in UK Allow Couple to Keep House Built Without Permits

  1. Anonymous says:

    Congratulation, that's beautiful

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a wonderful house – especially its "eco-credentials". However, their comment that the planning process uses "too much paper and electricity", whilst being true, is also disingenuous. I suspect they had to use far more paper and electricity to take it all the way to an inspector (and probably petrol too, as appeals never seem to get held locally). Despite all this quibbling by me I do congratulate them and wish them well.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is she his mother?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I understand it, but its not uniformity under the common law. Its more of a sculptural statement, so I see it as a work of art, therefore its ok. It IS on privately owned land.

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