Trafford Eco House

Our latest planning application is in – we’ve made many, many, changes to placate the council but have managed to keep the main elements that improve the house’s performance:

  • 200mm of external insulation
  • Extensive solar PV
  • Locally-made triple-glazed windows
  • A large thermal store, heated by solar thermal and a woodburner

Overall we’re still targeting a reduction in heating requirement of up to 95%, and to be a net producer of energy. All of this can only get built though if we can get planning approval though, and to date that has been difficult.

We need your help

We need to show that there is support for this type of sustainable building. We’re getting our neighbours to write letters of support, and add supporting comments to the planning application online – but the more we can get, the better.

What you can do – by November 27

Have a look at the planning documents, our application number is 81791/HHA/2013  and the documents can be seen here

If you have any questions, please contact us and I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly. If you’re happy then please send in a supportive comment. You can do that in three ways:


The quickest way is to add your comment using the council’s online form with our application number – 81791/HHA/2013

Send an email

Or you can send your response to Please be sure to include the planning application number (81791/HHA/2013), your name and address and your comments.

Snail mail

You can write to the Chief Planning Officer, but please be quick – we need all comments in by the 27th of November:
Planning and Building Control, PO Box 96, Waterside House, Sale Waterside, Tatton Road, Sale M33 7ZF


Please do what you can – we only have until November 27 to get comments in!

I love this video – it makes such wonderful, simple points. And then I go out to cycle in Trafford.

I’m so flat out planting and working that it’s hard to get to the blog, but I’m taking plenty of pics along the way, so here’s a quick photo update for you:

I’m a big fan of the Transition Town movement, so it was great to be invited to be a part of the new Transition Town Altrincham, Hale & Bowdon. This is all a little bit south of us (we’re right on the border between Sale and Altrincham) but it’s the first Transition initiative in Trafford so how could I resist!

At the moment we’re just starting to get a core group together, and tentatively planning our first film showing, to start getting the word out. We’re hoping to piggy-back some of the great events that Action for Sustainable Living are doing locally, and our next group meeting is February 1st – full details here. If you’re concerned about the environment, climate change and peak oil, or just interested in building a stronger local community then do come along – the more the merrier!

There we go – the growbeds on the long side are all done, the drains are all connected, and they’re plumbed in to the fish tank. And we’ve finally taken the plunge – the pump is now running automatically, once an hour:

Now I just need to start keeping an eye on the Ammonia readings to see how our bacteria are going – I guess they’ll be growing VERY slowly this week wth the frost we’ve been having.

No problem with mud in the garden this morning, it went down to -1.7°C last night in the garden, and even the inside of the polytunnel was down to -1°C.

The ground in the garden is pretty solid now, but has remained a little soft in the polytunnel. The cold snap has seen the water temperature drop from 9°C down to 7°C.

Here’s how the ‘allotment’ is going:

The onions, garlic and purple-sprouting  broccoli should be all frost hardy, so let’s see how they go!

The frost patterns on the inside of the polytunnel are pretty amazing, not sure I’ve ever seen anything like this:


Steel for Aquaponic Growbed stands

Following last weekend’s adventures with timber (cutting the legs for the stands and the fish tanks), The steel rails for the top of the growbed stands is now here. Luckily it’s cut to size, so now I just need to finish the legs off, drill some holes, and assemble the things.

Easy 🙂