Eco homes on London agenda

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RESIDENTS from Long Sutton have been sharing their experiences of living in a groundbreaking eco development with guests at the Palace of Westminster.

Barbara and Stephen Holmes, Andrew and Joann Thompson, Claire Lovatt and Clive Gillett travelled to London to give a first-hand account of their lives at Unity Gardens.

The six earth-bunded bungalows off Bridge Road generate their own energy from solar panels on the roof, harvest rainwater and have access to a wind turbine.

Residents at the development even tend to a communal vegetable patch in the quest to be self-sufficient.

Long Sutton-based architect Jerry Harrall, from SEArch, invited them along with him to the reception in Westminster for Environmental Responsibility in the Built Environment to showcase successful environmental building projects.

Mrs Holmes, who has lived on the development with her husband for about two-and-a-half years, says there is still plenty of interest in their environmentally-friendly way of life.

She said: “We were invited down to talk about our way of living and what it’s like. It was a very interesting day.

“We still get visitors to Unity Gardens. We had someone come just before Christmas who was from Newcastle. He was visiting a relative in Grantham and had read about Unity Gardens in The Metro.”

Mrs Holmes said the bungalows have lived up their promise of changing their way of life - and she doesn’t ever intend to go back to a “normal” home.

She added: “We would not want to move from here. If I won the lottery I would have another place like this built.

“I would not want to go back to how we were. We only have electricity here – no gas, no coal, nothing. Our bill for the year was under £600 and that’s it.”