A death sentence because the, "benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside".

Read the history of the straw bale house at the bottom of this article...



Official petition to save Charlie's house



Charlie, who built this beautiful straw bale roundhouse, is a young man with a young family and like many finds it impossible to afford a home. In Charlie's case he had three things going for him. First his father owns a big enough plot of land for Charlie to build a home. Second, the land was right next door to Lammas ecoVillage in Wales where there is plenty of natural building experience, inspiration and community spirit to help Charlie.


Finally, Charlie had been living with his partner Megan in a damp caravan for the past 4 years. With a baby on the way Charlie felt he had no choice but to build his house without the approval of the planning authorities, convinced permission for his home would be refused. The lack of affordable homes and strict planning regulations touches many lives.

Hundertwasser the famous architect, designer and artist wrote, "The individual's desire to build something should not be deterred! Everyone should be able and have to build and thus be truly responsible for the four walls in which he lives".

Jon Jandai, Director of Pun Pun Organic Farm said at a TED presentation in Thailand,

 "I want to be equal to animals. The bird makes a nest in one or two days; the rat digs a hole in one night, but clever humans like us spend 30 years to have a house... that's wrong."

Charlie's home is designed from the natural resources available on the land rather than by building industry professionals that often specify homes using processed materials with high embodied energy.


This method of building is what SunRay Kelly calls Evolutionary Architecture and what Ben Law teaches to architects who want to learn about sustainable natural building.

It took Charlie a little over a year to build his home with a reciprocal green roof and lime plastered straw bale walls. All in all it cost Charlie about £15,000 ($23,000). Watch this short video from film makers Living in the Future where Charlie tells his story.

  A Tour of Charlie's Home  

Charlie and Megan applied for retrospective planning permission from Pembrokeshire County Council who decided that this wonderful, unobtrusive, sustainable home should be demolished consigning Charlie, Meg and their child back to their cold and damp caravan.


As of the 1st August 2013 Pembrokeshire County Council's enforcement say the property must be demolished within 2 months because,

"benefits of the development did not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside".

This is the rural character close to Charlie's home on Google Street View.


The picture above is a poster you can use in your social circles (at full size) to invite your friends and followers to support Charlie. Follow the buttons to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and/or click the Pinit button to share it with your Pinterest followers.


More articles around the web: BBC & Wales Telegraph & Daily Mail & Telegraph & Turkiye Gazetesi & Wales Online.

A note on planning:

The Welsh government has guidelines for development of settlements in the open countryside called 'One Planet Developments'. This is the Technical Advice Note 6 (PDF 6Mb) Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities, otherwise known as TAN6 with Tony Wrench's roundhouse on the cover which was itself once under demolition threat but was eventually granted planning permission in September 2008.


Charlie Hague & Megan


UPDATE 14th July 2015:


SAVED Charlie and Meg's home has been granted retrospective planning permission. A plea to take into account the cultural value of the roundhouse and meeting strict One Planet Development policy (see below) guidelines was among the points raised at the appeal on March 31st. Every aspect of their lifestyle was scrutinised by planning inspector Kay Sheffield who had invited their friends, neighbours and supporters to give their views on the project. The meeting was followed by a visit to the roundhouse so Kay could see the property for herself. All things considered Kay used her authority to overturn Pembrokeshire's rejection of Charlie and Megan's retrospective planning permission. Join our conversation in Talking Natural Homes. See how this beautiful home was built step-by-step and visit Charlie and Meg's facebook page to congratulate them.


UPDATE 31st March 2015:

The appeal date has been set for Tuesday May 19th at the Hermon Community Resource Centre. Charlie & Megan welcome your support on the day. The parcels (right) contain copies of the letters of support from our readers and beyond. If you wrote to Pembrokeshire County Council then your letter is in this collection with thousands of others in support of their appeal.

UPDATE 24th June 2014:


The BBC's Aled Scourfield at the Pembrokshire Council meeting has tweeted:

"Pembs Councillors vote for a site visit before deciding on the future of Glandwr roundhouse"

This is what Charlie and Megan were hoping for; bring the councillors out of their office face-to-face with one of the most beautiful and environmentally friendly homes on the planet. This gives them the opportunity to show the councillors what it means to live naturally growing their own food and taking care of their own needs sustainably. The site visit will take place on the 23rd July. Their application will go before the committee again the following week on the 29th July. 

UPDATE 18th June 2014: "The dwelling will be dismantled and removed..."

Pembrokeshire planning committee meets on Tuesday 24th of June to discuss Charlie and Megan's retrospective planning permission. The agenda for the meeting is now available. The agenda includes a recommendation document that says,

"It is recommended that the application be REFUSED"

and goes on to say,

"The dwelling will be dismantled and removed. This would not be a difficult task since it has been built predominantly from natural materials."

This makes you wonder if Charlie might have had a better chance of keeping his home if he had built it from steel and concrete! Remember, this is a recommendation. Let's hope when the planning committee sit together on the 24th that they have compassion for Charlie, the environment and the many others that want to live sustainably on the land. Pembrokeshire Council's Facebook Page continues to be inundated with messages of support for Charlie's retrospective planning application. Maybe it's not too late to save Charlie's home.


PLEASE sign the Official Petition to save Charlie's House [released for signatures by Charlie and Megan 5th August 2013]