Couple who live in a mud hut refuse to follow council orders to move into a Travelodge

A couple who left modern life behind to live in a mud hut have been ordered to leave and move into a Travelodge.

Kate and Alan Burrows are appealing against a council enforcement notice ordering them out of their hand-built roundhouse in the woods of North Devon.

The couple built the remote structure because Kate suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and claims she’s allergic to mains water, electricity and wi-fi.

The couple, who earn their living off the land they own, are being forced to move out and take down their home in the Tarka Valley, near Chulmleigh.

Kate and Alan Burrows are in a battle with their local council (Picture: Rex)
Kate and Alan Burrows are in a battle with their local council (Picture: Rex)

They plan to deliver a petition to North Devon Council in the new year and have already gathered 52,000 signatures that support their cause.

However, the council do not accept petitions against planning issues.

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They have been offered a room in a Travelodge by the council, but have refused to stay in it.

Kate, 46, and Alan, 48, spent six weeks building their home from tree trunks, stray and mud and she claimed it cured her allergy to modern life.

She said she previously felt like she had the flu all the time. She said she would be bedridden if forced to accept the offer of accommodation at a Travelodge.

The couple built their home from trees and mud (Picture: Rex)
The couple built their home from trees and mud (Picture: Rex)

Kate told the BBC: ‘I cannot live in that way. I have been in one before and I could not sleep, I would be so ill in 24 hours.’

The council has issued its enforcement notice because their home in the woods does not have planning permission.

An initial appeal from the couple against the decision has been rejected.

Kate Burrows says she is allergic to modern life (Picture: Rex)
Kate Burrows says she is allergic to modern life (Picture: Rex)

The couple’s home in the woods has a kitchen, two bedrooms and an outdoor compost toilet.

They get water from a nearby river with a hand pump while roof solar panels provide power.

The couple also keep chickens, geese and goats.

North Devon Council said: ‘It is clearly not in the public interest to have houses and other structures springing up across the countryside without any permissions being obtained.’

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