By Emma Morton
Dug into a hillside in a secluded part of Wales, Hobbit homes, or rather low impact woodland homes, are springing up all over the place thanks to the Lammas Project. This project is the first of its kind and aims to demonstrate the viability of low impact living as a settlement model. The development of an eco-village is set to take place in 2008 in Pembrokeshire, as this is one of the only county’s in the UK (apart from Milton Keynes) to have a planning policy for low impact Development.
Although these homes look like they part of a set for a new Spielberg film, they’re actually highly self sufficient and economical. Who wouldn’t want to live in a soil mound?
Construction wise they are easy and simple to put up, all you need is a spot of land, £3000 and a few hands to help. Living wise they seem the ideal solution to a number of current issues, from community engagement and increased family life, to being soft on the environment and cutting CO2 emissions. They are built mainly from reclaimed and natural materials, and yet have all the comforts of a ‘modern’ home. For example, they have a fridge cooled from air coming underground through the foundations, water from a local spring (powered by gravity), solar panels for lighting and music, along with other nifty energy saving ideas.
Brilliant! Lets all get one. Well, it’s not that easy. You’d think that these homes are the answer the government has been looking for; affordable, easy to construct, low impact and community enhancing. But the current project is having problems getting planning permission from Pembrokeshire County Council – shame they’re not asking for a 200 mile long gas pipeline!