Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shed or dwelling house?

The BBC reports on Stephen Grendon who has been living in a woodland shelter on Brimpsfield Common in the Cotswolds for more than 11 years. A High Court judge has now ruled that his home - a stone-built home named Hermit's Corner measuring 4.25m by 5.8m - was not a "dwelling house" according to law and that he must leave. The to-ing and fro-ing with planners has been going on since 2004 and now Mr Grendon must submit a planning application. Earlier this week, the court was told how Mr Grendon valued "the simplicity of his unconventional lifestyle" and liked "the peace and quiet" of his home. However, Mr Justice McCombe ruled that it "simply did not have the physical attributes of a dwelling house, even with the claimant's modest requirements". The building has main electricity but no running water, bathroom or lavatory. However, Mr Grendon's solicitor Sharon Baxter said the judgement: "seems to give too much emphasis to the physical attributes of the building and too little, we say, to its actual use."

The Shedblog mentioned a similar case earlier this week in which the owners of a "Hobbit-style wood and earth home" are battling to save their ecologically friendly, solar-powered Round House at Brithdir Mawr near Newport, Pembrokeshire, from demolition.

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