The deadline has passed...
Thanks to all of you
Pembrokeshire Council's Facebook Page continues to be
inundated with messages of support for Charlie's retrospective
planning application. Recently the council have shown some measure
of willingness to reconsider their decision. The story is by no
means over but there is hope. Here's an update [13th October] from
Charlie and Megan,
"Hi, just a quick update for all the folk
asking what the latest news is. Currently we're still living in
the house and waiting on a decision from Pembrokeshire County
Council regarding our retrospective application. We're feeling
fairly confident that everything will be OK in the end. We'll
update everyone, as soon as we hear anything. These kind of
things have been known to drag on for years... in the mean time,
life goes on. Thanks for all the words of support! Bless up and
Charlie, who built this beautiful straw bale roundhouse, is a young man with a young family and like many finds it
impossible to afford a home. In Charlie's case he had
things going for him. First his father owns a big enough plot of
land for Charlie to build a home. Second, the land was right next door to
ecoVillage in Wales where there is plenty of natural building
experience, inspiration and community spirit to help Charlie.
Finally, Charlie had been living with his partner
in a damp caravan for the past 4 years. With a baby on the way
Charlie felt he had no choice but to build his house without the
approval of the planning authorities, convinced permission for his
home would be refused.
The lack of affordable homes and strict planning regulations
touches many lives.
Hundertwasser the famous architect, designer and artist wrote, "The individual's desire to build something should not be
deterred! Everyone should be able and have to build and thus be
truly responsible for the four walls in which he lives".
Jon Jandai, Director of
Pun Pun Organic Farm
said at a TED presentation in Thailand,
"I want to be
equal to animals. The bird makes a nest in one or two days; the
rat digs a hole in one night, but clever humans like us spend 30
years to have a house... that's wrong."
Charlie's home is designed from the natural resources available on
the land rather than by building industry professionals that often
specify homes using processed materials with
high embodied energy.
This method of building is what
Evolutionary Architecture and
what Ben Law
teaches to architects who want to learn about sustainable natural
It took Charlie a little over a year to build
his home with a
reciprocal green roof
and lime plastered straw bale walls. All in all it cost Charlie
about £15,000 ($23,000). Watch this short video from film makers
Living in the Future where Charlie tells his story.
Charlie and Megan applied for retrospective
planning permission from Pembrokeshire County Council who decided that this wonderful, unobtrusive, sustainable home should
be demolished consigning Charlie, Meg and their child back to
their cold and damp caravan.
As of the 1st August 2013 Pembrokeshire County Council's enforcement say the
property must be demolished within 2 months because,
of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and
appearance of the countryside".
This is the rural character
close to Charlie's home on
The picture above is a poster you can use in your social circles
(at full size) to invite your friends and followers to support Charlie. Follow the buttons to
Twitter and/or click the Pinit button to share it with your