Shout it from the rooftop - ‘eco home’ is back on track

The McGarry family outside their eco home in Horncastle EMN-160314-114238001
The McGarry family outside their eco home in Horncastle EMN-160314-114238001

Plans for Horncastle’s first ever totally eco house should be back on track - after owners agreed to move some solar panels a few metres.

The pioneering McGarry family have already built their ‘dream home’ - called Virdis - in Bargate Lane at a reported cost of around £300,000.

However, the entire project was placed in doubt after a neighbour objected to some roof mounted solar panels which will provide all the power.

The McGarry’s believed they were given the go-ahead by East Lindsey District Council to erect the panels in initial planning permission for the development.

However, they were stunned when ELDC ruled the panels needed separate planning permission.

ELDC planners then backed the neighbour’s objection and rejected the application - saying the panels were ‘intrusive’.

That led to a row between the McGarry’s and ELDC which attracted national publicity.

At the time, the McGarry’s slammed the council and described the decision as ‘astonishing’ adding: “How can you have a eco house without solar panels?”

However, the family have now submitted a new application for the panels and say that this time around, they have received support from a district council planning officer at ELDC.

Nerys McGarry - a mum of four - told a meeting of Horncastle Town Council’s planning committee last Monday that a ‘newly assigned’ officer had been on the case.

She said: “He has been very supportive and has addressed the issues.”

Mrs McGarry confirmed that on the advice of the officer, the panels would be moved a ‘few metres’ along the roof - away from the neighbour’s property.

She told the committee that the planning officer was ‘happy with that’ - even though the panels would be more visible from Bargate.

Planning committee members said they were concerned the McGarrys had still not spoken to the neighbour about the new plan but reaffirmed their 

A final decisionwill be made by ELDC.