In financial straits, last summer they decided to build a home on private land belonging to Hague’s father. Hague — a sculptor and woodworker by trade — and Williams created the eco-friendly roundhouse from scratch. Construction of the one story home took around a year and cost the couple approximately $23,000 USD.
A living tree is the showcase piece and helps support the structure. Hague and Williams wanted a safe, sustainable home to raise their 1-year-old son Eli in. With walls of hay bales coated in layers of plaster and a grass roof, the final result is lovingly referred to by locals as the “Hobbit Home.”
Despite being on private property, the couple still needed permits to build, which they admit they failed to obtain. According to planning inspector Iwan Lloyd, who condemned the property, the home is an eyesore:
The character and appearance of the countryside should be protected for its intrinsic sake. The benefits of a low-impact development do not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.
The couple currently have two months to return their property to its natural state, including removal of the house and dock.
Despite losing their appeal with the county council, Hague and Williams have one last avenue. They’ve applied for a retrospective planning permission to save their house, though they hold out little hope for approval.
For more information, head over to the BBC.