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Permission granted for Merton's first Passivhaus

In December 2014, we were disappointed to share the news that the Sewell family’s plans to build Merton’s first sustainable home had once again been delayed due to another poor planning decision.

Sustainable Merton have continued to follow their progress and support a project with the potential to create an exemplar for sustainable building within the borough. And now, through determination and refusal to give up on their dream, the family have received the wonderful news that their plans to build Merton’s first PassivHaus have finally been approved!

Dean Sewell shares their story…

‘We last reported on the progress of our PassivHaus in December 2014 following the disappointing refusal at the Merton Planning Committee. However, we set out on this journey to realise a long term dream and we were sure we had addressed any remaining concerns and that our plans would be supported by national policy so we appealed the decision. We are now pleased to announce that our hard work and commitment has paid off and, after 18 months negotiating and hard work, permission has been granted to build our Sustainable / PassivHaus in Merton.

It has been a really tough 18 months. It has been difficult because designing a PassivHaus is complex, because we have unfortunately disrupted the neighbourhood which we never intended to do, because the planning process is very subjective and to my eyes keeps introducing barriers rather than promoting sustainability. But, we set out to do this and we had the resolve to keep pushing to build our dream home. And, in the end our commitment paid off.

Getting planning permission is a major milestone and it was encouraging that national policy supports such developments. We still have a lot of work ahead of us with the detailed design to ensure we get the very best building performance. We plan to document the process via a blog and keep everybody updated on progress.’


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