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An application to the council to build a number of garden log cabins in a north-east England would have been turned down. Durham County Council rejected the application for six new flat-pack cabins in the wood after two petitions and a number of objections against the proposal were received. Local resident, Malcolm Sutcliffe, described the planned buildings as ‘Swiss Chalets’ (which I think look rather good!) it was reported in the Wear Valley Mercury.
The idea behind the scheme was to bring tourists to the area and to help the local economy. One of the issues was the fact that several pine trees would have needed to be removed to enable the cabins to be built. However, I am sure that they could have been screened to ensure they blended into their surroundings.
The committee chairman, Mike Dixon, said it was always a delicate balancing act between the need for tourism revenue, which would help the local businesses and what would be best for the area.
He went on to say that the woodland is an attraction for tourists and if they disturbed that then they would lose these visitors. He never said how much income the visitors to the woods brought in and what the projected benefits could have been if the wooden flat pack log cabins had been allowed to go ahead.
Durham Council’s arborculturalist had suggested that the trees were of low quality and it was only the sheer number of them made them a significant landscape feature. Why people would want to visit a wood with low-quality trees, as crucial as they are to the air we breathe, seems to be an extraordinary argument in rejecting the plans.
Recently a similar plan for wooden log cabin construction was passed in South Derbyshire despite local objections. Whether the arguments were the same, I don’t know, but obviously, the council in Derbyshire took a different view. The moral is always to check if you are in any doubt.
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The winner eventually having to pay £7600 for this unusual cabin. The entrepreneur who was selling it had put in his advert ‘ if you put in some plumbing and windows and obtain a plot of land to site it you will have your house which will become your home’.
The design company, Treehugger, which makes some of the best cabins for sale, claimed that they were the most efficient types of property when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. These type of property are undoubtedly different from what most people would consider as a home and just goes to show what a little thought and initiative can do!
And if you want to see them at a display site, then you can, unlike most other web sites where you buy from a brochure, and you don’t know what you get until it’s too late.
Over in Baltimore in the States, a historically significant log cabin has been opened for the public. The timber shed is a replicate of Benjamin Banneker’s garden cabin, who was a famous figure in American African, where he lived. He was born in 1731, and his grandfather and father had been slaves. Amazingly Mr Banneker went on to be a great scientist and was described as ‘the first African American scientist for his contribution to astronomy.
He had various exchanges with Thomas Jefferson, the third USA president, pleading the case for abolishing slavery. However, even though his achievements were outstanding, he lived in a simple log building which he had built himself. (So if you want to build your own log cabin it’s possible with a flat pack option.) It is hoped, by the local authorities, that the replicate of his cabin will help to educate and inspire future generations about his life and to show that what one can achieve even from humble backgrounds.