Green Belt rules mean green home is rejected

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DEVELOPMENT: A family’s project to make their home energy self sufficient is being blocked by council planning chiefs because it’s In the Green Belt.

Ben Taylor’s application for an 11 kilowatt wind turbine and a solar photovoltaic system was refused on Friday after it was delegated to a borough planning officer.

Mr Taylor is appealing against the decision because he believes his project will leave a leave a legacy of self sufficiency.

The turbine and solar photovoltaic system is a small part of his design to covert the farmhouse, where he lives with his family on Marshcroft Lane in Tring, into an zero-carbon home.

His vision will see the building, which was constructed in 1890, keep its character but be powered completely by renewable resources.

The turbine will generate electricity on windy days while the photovoltaic system will generate electricity on sunny days.

Solar panels that look like roof slates will generate heat and while underground heat storage will keep unused heat for the winter.

Good insulation will prevent heat energy wastage and rain water will be collected on the roof for use in the home.

The design mimics many of the technologies used at Renewable Energy Systems (Res) in Kings Langley, which is famous for pioneering sustainable building.

Mr Taylor said: “We are designing ourselves a system that integrates all of the available renewable energy systems so that our home has a zero carbon footprint. You can call it a mini Res if you like.

“I don’t feel the project is understood by the planning department at the council. We are really upset that it has been refused especially since it didn’t even go before the planning committee for debate. I think it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of doing this sort of thing.”

In a statement Dacorum Borough Council said that wind turbines and photo voltaic panels were not appropriate development for the Green Belt.

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