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Eco-home plans for Ten Oaks Farm will 'improve the openness of Bovingdon Green Belt'
A sustainable energy company chief executive has defended his plans to develop an eco-home on Bovingdon Green Belt land.
Dr Ian Mays, who currently lives in Chipperfield and works in renewable energy as chief executive of Kings Langley-based RES, has submitted an application to develop a zero-carbon home on land in Ten Oaks Farm, Flaunden Lane.
The application has received some criticism from villagers, as the development would be built on the Green Belt, and chairman of Bovingdon parish council, Glenn Povey, who said: "This application has come up before and it was withdrawn. This time around it looks like there’s been a substantial increase in the size of the development."
However, Dr Mays argued that the re-submission is the same size as the previous submission.
He said: "We withdrew in order to provide enhanced information on the landscaping and ecology strategy for the site, as well as more images to illustrate the visual appearance of our proposed home."
Dr and Mrs Mays, who have lived in the local area for almost 30 years, want to replace the existing house and other buildings on the site with their zero carbon home which would produce enough renewable energy to meet their domestic needs, as well as compensating for the carbon emissions associated with its building.
Dr Mays said: "Much of my life has been dedicated to advocating, developing and deploying renewable energy technologies and managing a renewable energy company. The opportunity to create a new home for a more sustainable lifestyle, whilst also demonstrating how a house can be truly carbon neutral over its lifecycle, is very important to me and my wife."
"The existing Ten Oaks Farm is a two-storey bungalow with outbuildings dating from the first half of the last century. The outbuildings are now very run down and the design and structure of the bungalow are not appropriate to be modified to reach the high standard of energy efficiency which we would like to achieve. "
The existing site has permitted development rights which would allow additional buildings to be erected, but Dr and Mrs Mays said they are adamant their new home should be sensitively designed and not detract from the openness of the Greenbelt.
Dr Mays said: "Our proposal, and our intention, is to improve the openness of the Green Belt by removing the existing run-down buildings at the front of the site, turning this back to agriculture, and not acting upon the permitted development rights which currently allow for significant additional development."
The plans will involve the demolition of a double storey seven bedroom dwelling, garage and out buildings and the erection of a new five bedroom dwelling with a one bedroom annex and external outbuildings, including a garage.
If it gets the go-ahead the couple said they hope their new home will show that low carbon buildings can be built using or adapting existing local skills, techniques and materials.
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