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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 19:42 GMT
Eco-couple told to demolish yurt
The Devon yurt
The couple have appealed against the eviction notice
A Devon couple who live in a Mongolian-style hut in the middle of a wood in Devon have been ordered to demolish their home.

Fifth-generation woodsman Marcus Tribe and his partner, Sarah Harvey, live in the hut, or yurt, in woodland Mr Tribe owns near Nomansland, near Tiverton.

Mid Devon District Council opposes the structure, but the parish council has backed the couple to live there.

A planning inspector will look at their case again in January.

Community support

Although their lifestyle is almost totally self-sufficient and eco-friendly, the home-made yurt and Mr Tribe's workshop do not fit in with local planning laws.

In a statement, Mid Devon District Council said that the couple were refused planning permission two years ago and an enforcement order had now been issued.

Mr Tribe said: "I haven't lived in a house now for nearly 17 years... We're pretty used to this way of life."

Many members of the local community support them. Thelbridge Parish Council has unanimously backed them in their wish to continue living there.

Bob Charlton, of the parish council, said: "Perhaps they don't fit a household stereotype in the normal way, but their sustainable way of living is something that should be looked at much more closely and perhaps can teach us lessons.

"Perhaps we should be learning from them, as opposed to telling them to go away."

Marcus Tribe and Sarah Harvey have appealed against their eviction notice.

Mid Devon District Council said a planning inspector would look at their case again in January. The couple will then have a year to comply with any order made.


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