Matthew Lepley, 34, and Jules Smith, 54, left London five years ago to build their dream house in the countryside. They decided not to apply for planning permission because the process “uses too much paper and electricity.” They used railway sleepers, lorry tyres, and scrap metal to build the house in Beaworthy, Devon, but no power tools. The home has an outdoor compost toilet, no power or running water, and an underground pantry instead of a fridge. The couple were told by Torridge District Council they may have to tear down their home after neighbours’ complaints. But now a government planning inspector has ruled that the house may stay because of its eco-credentials. Angry local residents say: “It’s disgusting how some people are treated one way and other people treated another way.”
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