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Pinchbeck zero carbon home is given the green light - despite officers' recommendation to reject it

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A couple will be allowed to go ahead with plans for a zero carbon self-build home - despite the fact that council officers said the scheme should be rejected.

Mark and Lisa Thomas won approval for their eco project on land off Glenside North in Pinchbeck after winning over members of the district council’s planning committee.

The plans would see the home generate and store its own energy - using this to power the couple’s electric vehicle as well as the energy they use.

An image of the Thomas' proposed home (58185322)
An image of the Thomas' proposed home (58185322)

Mr Thomas told the committee the plans were sympathetic to the local area and helped fill an unmet need for self-build homes in South Holland.

He said: “Our proposals are unusual in their narrative and nature and our aspirations are high.”

Pinchbeck resident Terry Moore also spoke in favour of the plan - saying it was ‘pushing the boundaries, pushing the envelope’ as far as possible.

The site in question has been designated as ‘countryside’ by the council - a fact that led officers to say it should be refused.

Members, however, debated whether the nature of the home meant it should be seen as exceptional and granted regardless.

Coun Chris Brewis felt it was ‘sufficiently revolutionary’ for the authority to make an exception - and criticised the quality of housebuilding in general in this country by contrast.

Members also pointed out that Glenside North already has a mix of different homes.

Coun Henry Bingham added: “If we don’t have different houses built then we are going to be a ‘one size fits all’ county. The only way we are going to have these things is for people to bring them forward.”

Head of planning Phil Norman said it was for the committee to determine what they felt was exceptional - and several members felt that even if the outside of the building was not ‘outstanding’, the lived experience of the couple could set an exceptional example.

Coun Simon Walsh said: “At some point somebody has got to be prepared to move this agenda forward. Why not South Holland? Let’s not be afraid to stick our heads above the parapet.”

The plans were opposed by councillors Rodney Grocock and Peter Coupland - the only two to vote against the scheme.

Coun Grocock said he had mixed feelings and felt it was ‘too early’ to pass this against council policy.

Coun Coupland said: “We are flouting policies and we shouldn’t really do that unless we have got a strong reason.

“It’s not outstanding, I don’t think the colour does it any good whatsoever. It will just stand out in the street scene.

“I think we are creating a can of worms for planners and committee members as well.”

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