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Earthship's plan for eco-homes brings out radical edge of Brighton

Controversial plans to build a colony of eco-homes with tyres and beer cans at Brighton Marina could become a reality in two years' time.

Plans have been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council for a village of 16 one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom homes on land overlooking the exclusive marina development.

Some 15,000 tyres will be recycled to construct the homes which, claims developer and architect Earthship Biotecture, will generate their own wind and solar power, harvest rainwater and treat domestic waste.

Earthship expects the homes to cost between £250,000 and £350,000 and plans to make half of them available to housing associations as affordable units.

The move follows a pilot study led by Earthship's designer and developer Earthship Biotecture, local architect RH Partnerships and Brighton and Hove City Council, which identified the marina as the ideal location for the ultra-green homes.

Development director Daren Howarth is confident that homes on the development - entitled The Lizard - will sell quickly.

'There has been a lot of interest from people already in the know about Earthships and the market research during the feasibility study showed that there is a serious interest in buying into a development of this nature,' said Howarth.

A successful development in Brighton could pave the way for dozens of Earthship colonies around the UK.

Two Earthship prototypes - used as office and community spaces - have been built at Fife, Scotland, and Stanmer, East Sussex, to demonstrate the potential of Earthships.

If planning permission is granted, construction at Brighton Marina could be completed and the homes marketed in 2007.

'It is a very powerful, iconic building concept that has the potential to revolutionise the way we live,' said Howarth.

by Clive Walker

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