SIX planning applications to build 42 new homes were reported in the December 15 issue of the Craven Herald - evidence of the demand for more homes in our area, both for low income earners and the more affluent.

These brief reports summarise the issues considered when refusing, modifying or approving an application, to minimise negative impact on local residents.

I am puzzled, however, by the recommendation to to turn down an application to build an 'eco' home in a former reservoir off Cononley Road, Cross Hills, "because of the impact on the countryside of the creation of a new dwelling."

Who is recommending that Craven Council refuse permission in spite of support from the parish council (Glusburn and Cross Hills), who point out that the home would be environmentally friendly and not visible from the road?

The local Ecology Building Society (Silsden) report that there are currently 1,000 buildings under construction in the UK that conform to the rigorous 'Passivhaus' ecological standard. They helped to fund two that won architectural awards this year. One is on a small urban site in York. It was featured on the television series 'Grand Designs' recently.

The builders were complimented on their consultation with its neighbours, their use of local materials to harmonise with adjacent buildings and the delight of the owner with the light and airy and efficient finished product. Ecology BS point out that a growing number of our architects and builders now have experience in the techniques needed for an efficient eco building. Eco buildings are significantly less costly to run and demand little or nothing from our national energy supply network.

I hope that Craven Council will be forward-looking in considering the planning application and that the Herald will keep its readers informed of the project's progress.

Anne Marsden

Hardy Meadows, Grassington