A dad’s bid to live free from energy bills has suffered a setback at the hands of South Ayrshire Council.
Ambitious Norrie Smith, who wants to transform his terraced home into an eco hub, was turned down by planning chiefs earlier this year.
And a council review panel has upheld the refusal of his futuristic proposal, which has gained worldwide support.
Mr Smith has pledged to design and build a house that will power itself through storing wind, water and solar energy.
But his idea to power the whole block in Prestwick’s Adamton Road has met with opposition from council chiefs, who rejected the house design for being “out of character” with the area.
At the review panel last week, councillors discussed whether planning officials were right to knock back the application.
And SNP councillor Ian Douglas said: “I feel this represents a hugely exciting proposal in our part of the world.
“Yes, it is an experimental project, but it has both local and international support.
“I certainly wouldn’t have a problem living next door to something like this and I think we should be looking to embrace it.”
Conservative councillor Anne Galbraith agreed: “I’m sad the proposal is before us because I think it could be very exciting.”
Labour councillors Andy Campbell, Sandra Goldie and Rita Miller voiced their concerns about the appearance of the new build.
And while panel chair Peter Convery took time to praise the proposal for its “cutting edge principles”, he also sided with refusal because of the building’s proposed design.
He added: “This really is a remarkable piece of work and should absolutely be applauded.
“Unfortunately I think it’s the right house on the wrong plot.”
Councillors then voted 4-2 in favour of refusing the proposal.
But the decision comes just two months after the council held a civic reception for the Zemch (Zero Energy Mass Custom Home) Newtork, in which Norrie plays a key role.
Top energy delegates from around the world had converged on Scotland and even visited Norrie’s Prestwick house before going on to County Buildings.
And despite his setback, Norrie insists he will continue to chase his dream.
He said: “I’ve always maintained what I want to do here will be the future.
“My house would be a prototype showing families a new way of living.
“I’ve taken on board the comments of the review board and will be resubmitting a new planning application with those comments in mind.”