A couple determined to build their dream ‘eco house’ are facing resistance from the council.

Sarah and Paul Ledger lodged plans to build a two-bedroom Eco Passivhaus at the end of their garden in August.

Designed for low energy consumption to reduce heat loss in the building, the home would be the ‘first of its kind’ in Brockenhurst.

But the proposals have faced opposition from the parish council due to the location.

The application has since been referred to the New Forest National Park Authority.

Daily Echo: Sarah and PaulSarah and Paul (Image: Sarah Ledger)

For Sarah, the eco bungalow would benefit not only her family, but the area too.

The 43-year-old said: “It would bring a sense of community by setting a precedent to other people.

“Several of our neighbours would like to see these homes in Brockenhurst.”

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Sarah returned to the village last November with Paul and their two-year-old daughter.

The pair are keen for her to grow up in a village community and to incorporate their passion for sustainability into their family home.

Sarah said: “Our house is a 1920s, single skin (no insulation), two-bedroom home.

“It's got asbestos in the roof and there are several damp issues.

“We want to create the highest level of eco home you can build.

“We want to build the house at the end of our garden. There is a road at the back of the garden, but no houses on that side.

“But we’re aware that previous planning applications submitted for this road were not successful as applicants were told the road has a rural significance.

“We are in support of protecting the rural character, we don’t believe the addition of this property would take away from that.”

Daily Echo: The proposed eco houseThe proposed eco house (Image: New Forest District Planning Authority)

Refusal of the plans would see Sarah and Paul leave the village, something they do not want to do.

Sarah added: “Our mortgage has gone up fourfold, so we can’t afford to move or rent locally if this is not approved.

"We had planned to knock down the existing house but due to the rising cost of our mortgage, the cost of demolition, and the cost to rent whilst building a new house on our current site, we cannot follow that plan.

“This proposal is exemplar and a pioneer, and it would be a self-build done by us.

“There’s real interest from the community for this.”

If approved, Sarah says the pair would look to sell their current house meaning “another house would be available”.

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Brockenhurst Parish Council confirmed the plans were fully debated.

A spokesperson said: “Councillors do wish to see a resolution to the issue of a lack of homes in the village and New Forest in general, particularly for young people, but are constrained by national policy and case law.

“The parish council is a consultee.

“Whilst welcoming the use of sustainable materials and the low carbon footprint for the proposed building, councillors, being well aware of the case law in question, decided to leave the final decision to the New Forest National Park Authority as is our normal custom.”

A decision will be made by the New Forest National Park Authority in November.