Lodsworth woodsman judges children’s home design entries

Judges preparing to look at the entries in the competition

Judges preparing to look at the entries in the competition

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LODSWORTH woodsman Ben Law was one of the judges for a competition to design a home for the future.

Schoolchildren in the Chichester district were invited to showcase their artistic talents by designing a rural home for the future.

Mr Law was on the judging panel which met on Friday at The Novium in Chichester to pick a winner.

The competition, organised by Chichester District Council, attracted 28 entries.

The winner and two runners up will be announced in September and the winning entries will be displayed at The Novium.

Environmentalist Mr Law is well-known for building his own eco-house in woodland at Lodsworth.

He has appeared on Channel 4’s Grand Designs and BBC One’s Countryfile.

Speaking about the competition he said: “These designs are really exciting and the children have really thought about them. I really like some of their ideas.”

The judging panel also included Cllr Carol Purnell, cabinet member for housing and planning at CDC, Cathy Hakes, the council’s rural housing enabler, Austin Wade, development manager of The Hyde Group and Chris Monks, construction and development director at Austin Builders.

The competition is open to all Key Stage 2 pupils in the Chichester district and was launched during national Rural Housing Week in June.

Children were asked to imagine what rural homes could look like in the future, taking into consideration new technology that may be available and how new, affordable homes can be built to provide much needed housing for local people without damaging the natural environment.

The prize for the winning school is £200 of art and design vouchers with an additional £50 for the winning designer.

The competition was run by the council in conjunction with the Hyde Group and Austins builders.

Cllr Purnell said: “The issue of affordable housing in rural areas is rarely out of the media.

“How we deal with the housing situation in our rural areas now is very relevant to the next generation.

“We are pleased that this competition has given children across the district the opportunity to engage with this topical issue and we have been inspired by the brilliant designs that we have received from our local young designers of the future.”