South West Wales

Couple's last appeal to save 'Hobbit home' in Crymych

Image caption The couple built the house using local materials

A Pembrokeshire couple, whose "hobbit-style" roundhouse faces demolition as it did not have planning permission, will have to wait to see if their final attempt to save it has succeeded.

Megan Williams and Charlie Hague built their eco-friendly home in Ms Williams's parents' garden in Glandwr, near Crymych, for around £12,000.

Planners refused a retrospective planning application last summer.

The Planning Inspectorate will decide in July. It visited on Tuesday.

Sculptor Mr Hague and Ms Williams argue the straw-walled roundhouse, which took a year to build, has a low impact on the environment.

But council officials who refused their retrospective planning application last year, said the couple had broken rules about developing homes in the countryside.

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Media captionThis is what the Pembrokeshire roundhouse looks like

Pembrokeshire council originally issued an enforcement notice against the roundhouse in December 2012.

The couple appealed against the decision but it was refused by a Welsh government planning inspector in 2013, who ruled the benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.

In their latest appeal, Ms Williams and Mr Hague hope to demonstrate they can meet criteria set out in the Welsh government's One Planet Development policy.

Developments which match the criteria are described as having a "light touch on the environment - positively enhancing the environment wherever possible through activities on the site," and also demonstrate relative self sufficiency in terms of food, energy and income.

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