A controversial north Pembrokeshire eco home, which has gained support from around the globe, may have to be demolished.
County councillors backed officers' recommendation to refuse a retrospective application to keep the roundhouse near Glandwr this morning (Tuesday).
Members voted by 9-4 for the recommendation.
Charlie Hague and Megan Williams had gained huge support for their fight to keep their unique, self-built roundhouse, but could now be forced to tear it down.
The one-bedroom grass-roofed house was built without planning permission, and was issued with an enforcement notice in December 2012.
An appeal was lodged and dismissed in July 2013.
The officers’ report stated: “The proposal represents an unjustified residential development in countryside, contrary to the rural restraint policy of the Local Development Plan.”
The report continued: “Despite its relatively low visual impact, it erodes the rural character of its surroundings and represents an unsustainable form of development in terms of distance from day-to-day facilities.”
Officers also state that the proposal “fails to demonstrate that it constitutes an exception” under the One Planet Development initiative, which looks to enhance environmental quality.”
Megan and Charlie built the house using local materials in Glandwr in 2012, and moved into the house just before their son Eli was born.
A total of 100,000 people have so far signed an online petition supporting the couple’s application to keep their home.
Councillor Rob Summons, Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, said that despite the building’s relatively low visual impact it eroded the rural character of its surroundings and represented an unsustainable form of development in terms of distance from day to day facilities.”
“Planning is a rigorous process with clear guidelines and if it is to be enforced fairly has to be upheld by everyone,” he said.
The applicants now have six months within which to lodge an appeal against today’s decision.
Pembrokeshire County Council originally issued an enforcement notice against the roundhouse in December 2012 because it had been built without planning permission in open countryside and was therefore contrary to planning policy.
An appeal against this decision was refused by a Welsh Government Planning Inspector last July.
The inspector said the benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.