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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 10:05 GMT
Funding for straw bale scheme
straw bale house
There used to be a rich tradition of straw bale building in the region
A group of people in north Devon is promoting environmental self-build schemes to try to ease the shortage of affordable housing.

The group, called Common Sense Solutions, has won 9,000 of lottery money for the project.

As part of the scheme the group has built an experimental straw bale building at Tapeley Park at Instow.

There used to be a rich tradition of straw bale and cob building in the South West but the centuries-old techniques have almost disappeared.

Environmentally sustainable

It is a method which can be used to construct anything from small huts to big family homes.

As a building material straw is cost efficient and environmentally sustainable.

The group say these techniques could provide an answer to the shortage of affordable housing in north Devon because self-building can be cheaper than conventional building.

An exhibition of the project is touring north Devon to encourage people struggling to get on the housing ladder to give the idea a go.

The exhibition opens in Torrington next week.

Straw house 'must go'
23 Oct 03  |  Somerset

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