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High Ongar's Straw houses officially opened by Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
Hastoe’s Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley and Chairman, Margaret Clark with the Austin family Michelle, Tilly Callum and Lucas with Eric Pickles MP
The first straw homes built in Epping Forest have their first tenants.
The Hastoe Housing Association properties in Millfield, Ongar, have timber frames filled with bales of live compressed straw and lime-rendered walls.
The straw absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows, meaning the properties have little or no negative impact on the environment.
The insulation the straw provides also cuts heating bills by 85 per cent.
The buildings comply with fire regulations and can withstand wind speeds of up to 120 mph.
Speaking at the official opening of the homes, Ongar MP Eric Pickles said: “The High Ongar housing development is wonderful and such a remarkable move forward in terms of what it delivers and its low energy consumption.”
Mother-of-three, Michelle Austin, 30, has recently moved in to one of the houses.
She said: "We couldn't ask for a better house. It was nice and cool in the summer and now it's really warm and we don't even have the heating on."
Neighbour, Claire Tillman, 27, said: "It's a lot warmer than a normal house, and sound proof."
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