Australia

‘Hobbit’ Eco-home Featured on Grand Designs Destroyed by Fire

An eco-home featured on Grand Designs has been destroyed by fire, just over a year since it appeared on the popular television show.

Known as the “Hobbit Home” the project gained popularity for its quirky design and cost efficiency, and was dubbed as “the cheapest house ever built in the Western Hemisphere”.

The house in the Welsh district of Pembrokeshire — which cost just 27,000 pounds ($46,000) to build — burned down on New Years Day.

The BBC reported that firefighters spent six hours bringing the blaze under control.

A crowdfunding page has been set up on JustGiving for homeowners Jasmine and Simon Dale, who started the project with just 500 pounds in the bank.

Jane Wells, who said she was a friend of the family, set up the page to help them rebuild.

“Simon, Jasmine and their two children have been residents at Lammas eco village, Pembrokeshire, since the start of the project,” she wrote.

“They have been working on their family home for the last six years. Sadly a fire started on New Year’s Day and their beloved home was burned to the ground.

“Luckily no-one was hurt but as you can imagine, the family are devastated.”

The remnants of the house.

The Dales’ dream home, built with donated labour from family and friends, was dubbed “Britain’s cheapest home” and was situated in the Lammas eco village, a sustainable community in Glandwr, near Crymych in western Wales.

Lammas was first granted planning permission in 2009, and consists of nine smallholdings on the site.

According to the family’s website, the house was built into the hillside for “low visual impact and shelter”.

They used stone and mud from digging the hill for retaining walls and the oak frame was sourced from the surrounding woodland.

Inside the Grand Designs home, with white wall and fariy lights.

Aside from being cost-effective, the home was also eco-friendly, with skylights, solar panels and a composting toilet.

“Committing ourselves to this land and simple living is our way of taking responsibility for our impact on the world as best we can,” the family said on their website.

“Every day we learn more about this place and can integrate our needs with the landscape we are in.

“Time to observe cycles and seasons is giving the opportunity to become neo-indigenous; architects of our own lives and genuine stewards of the land.”

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