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Couple who hoped to live in a hidden Grand Designs-style countryside ‘earth shelter’ beneath a field with a ‘grazing terrace’ for sheep are refused planning permission

  • Countryside couple have plans for Grand Designs-style ‘earth shelter’ shot down 
  • Brian and Rosemary Kedward’s ambitious Trellech home was rejected on appeal 
  • Property would have had a sunken 19m wide glass frontage with ‘grazing terrace’
  • But their plans were rejected on appeal by an independent planning inspector 

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A couple who planned to live underground in a Grand Designs-style ‘earth shelter’ had their plans dashed after officials ruled the land was protected as an area of Outstanding National Beauty.

Surveyor Brian Kedward, 61, and wife Rosemary, 59, had hoped to tend their sheep through the ambitious self-built project that would have been constructed into the natural slope of their field near the picturesque village of Trellech, South Wales.

The property – which they designed themselves – was to have a sunken 19-metre wide glass frontage with a ‘grazing terrace’ on the roof where sheep would feed. 

But after a two-year saga that saw Monmouthshire County Council fail to rule on the plans in time, an independent planning inspector was drafted in to tell the couple they had ‘no compelling reason’ to build within the protected Wye Valley.

Surveyor Brian Kedward, 61, and wife Rosemary, 59, had hoped to tend their sheep through the huge self-built project that would have been built into the natural slope of their field near Trellech in south Wales. Pictured: A concept birds eye image of how the dwelling would have looked

Surveyor Brian Kedward, 61, and wife Rosemary, 59, had hoped to tend their sheep through the huge self-built project that would have been built into the natural slope of their field near Trellech in south Wales. Pictured: A concept birds eye image of how the dwelling would have looked

The property - which they designed themselves - was to have a sunken 19-metre wide glass frontage with a 'grazing terrace' on the roof where sheep would feed and would have been constructed on this field (above)

 The property – which they designed themselves – was to have a sunken 19-metre wide glass frontage with a ‘grazing terrace’ on the roof where sheep would feed and would have been constructed on this field (above)

In their initial application, summited in 2021, the Kedwards stated ‘current lambing can be difficult’ due to a lack of on-site facilities on their field.

But their plans were met with opposition from nearby residents and official bodies who pushed back on their bid to build on a rural area of outstanding natural beauty. 

The Kedwards, who appealed their case to Welsh Government directly in the hope of winning approval, will have been left bitterly disappointed at the latest blow.

Independent inspector Declan Beggan said: ‘The proposal runs contrary to local planning policy that seeks to restrain development outside of settlement boundaries in the broad interests of sustainable development.’

Mr Beggan said that despite the house being built into the field with would still have a chimney appearing out of place within the countryside setting.

The plans were met with opposition from nearby residents and official bodies who pushed back on their bid to build on a rural area of outstanding natural beauty

The plans were met with opposition from nearby residents and official bodies who pushed back on their bid to build on a rural area of outstanding natural beauty

In their initial application, summited in 2021, the Kedwards stated 'current lambing can be difficult' due to a lack of on-site facilities on their field

In their initial application, summited in 2021, the Kedwards stated ‘current lambing can be difficult’ due to a lack of on-site facilities on their field 

He added: ‘It would form a conspicuous jarring visual feature within the field and within the landscape, particularly so when viewed from Beacon Road and the road further south, to the detriment of the visual amenity of the area.’

Mr Beggan also said the property would ‘draw the eye’ from its glass frontage built into the sloped field.

He said this would happen ‘Even more so in the hours of darkness when it would be subject to internal lighting.’

He said cars and washing lines that would be needed ‘would only exacerbate the visual intrusion within the countryside.’

Mr Beggan dismissed their appeal saying the land should be protected for agricultural use.

Trellech was a huge industrial city in the 13th century but its 400 homes were burned to the ground.

The ancient city was believed to be a myth until it was uncovered by amateur archaeologist Stuart Wilson, 38, who bought a field and dug for it himself.

Today, the picturesque village is set in rolling hills and green fields only 25 miles from the city of Newport – but is a nightmare to navigate because of lingering confusion over its name.

Maps, books and search engines offer a range of historic spellings for the area, which has a population of 2,500, over the last thousand years. 

There are 26 different ways to spell Trellech, with road signs on the way into the idyllic landscape using Trelech, Trelleck, Treleck and Tryleg with barns and old maps spelling it Treleck and Trylegh. 

Source: Daily Mail UK

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