A "Good Life" couple who spent five years building Britain's greenest home by hand have been told to tear it down after they refused to get planning permission - because it was "against their principles".
Super-green Matthew Lepley and Jules Smith moved from a London tower block to the Devon countryside in a bid to build the UK's most eco-friendly house.
They spent five years sleeping in tents and living off the land while they constructed the one bedroom cabin from wooden crates and lorry tyres.
They used no power tools and just scrap wood and metal to build the home so they could live "at one with nature".
Their super-green house has no electricity or running water and a compost heap for a toilet.
But their plans have been wrecked after a neighbour complained they built the dwelling without planning permission.
The couple were forced to admit they didn't bother applying for the local council's say-so because it flew in the face of their eco beliefs.
They say the planning process is not green enough and involves too much paperwork, energy and bureaucracy.
Council officials have now served Matthew, 34, and Jules, 54, with an enforcement notice ordering them to "remove" it from their field in Beaworthy.
Matthew said: "We wanted to build a home that would let us truly live as one with nature.
"We used recycled materials, an axe to break up the wood and hand tools to piece the structure together.
"The process was a lot slower but it was extremely satisfying. We wanted to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible.
"The plans for the house have changed over the years in accordance to our needs and nature. The heat comes from a woodburner which heats the water for the bathroom.
"We don't have electricity but we get by with paraffin lamps and candles. This life is not for everyone but we love it - it enables us to live a therapeutic lifestyle and be self-sufficient.
"We took the decision to build without planning permission because the council's procedure is not environmentally friendly enough and it goes against our personal principles."
The saga began five years ago when Matthew and Jules left their jobs as carers and fled a "pent up" tower block in Wood Green, north London.
They bought a 20-acre field and set aside £20,000 for construction costs, then scoured farmland and scrap yards for unwanted junk.
The foundations were made from old tractor tyres filled with gravel, while the walls and roof were build from discarded haulage pallets and railway sleepers.
Despite having just one bedroom, a lounge, a kitchen and a bathroom to construct, the building has taken years to complete because the couple refuse to use power tools.
They grow their own fruit and veg and rear ducks for their eggs and sheep for their wool.
But because they have no electricity the food has be preserved in a two-and-a-half deep underground compartment to keep it cool.
Their water is drawn out of the ground with a bore hole but they have no running taps and use an outside compost toilet before recycling the the waste.
The couple say their neighbours were initially supportive of their ambition to live a self-sufficient lifestyle on the remote woodland plot.
But when they revealed plans to turn their rustic retreat into an conservation business, hosting workshops in green engineering and "permaculture", locals changed their tune.
Matthew said the pair shunned the procedure for planning permission as they believe it "isn't environmentally friendly" enough and goes against their "personal principles".
They hoped their unique dwelling would not attract any complaints - meaning it would automatically gain retrospective permission after four years.
But two years into the build a local opponent gathered ten signatures and submitted the petition to Torridge District Council's planning department.
Matthew and Jules appealed their first enforcement notice three years ago and our now in the process of appealing against their second notice.
Matthew, who earns an income from selling homemade produce and doing part-time care work, said: "There is a chronic lack of affordable housing in this country and very few options for people on a low income.
"It's not illegal, though we knew there was a risk someone might complain.
"We've had a lot of drama with the neighbours, some have been really supportive while others have gone against us and started a petition.
"We were hoping no one would notice as its only visible within the dwelling and can't be seen from the road.
"The idea of the conservation project was to provide retreat accommodation and run courses and workshops on sustainable living.
"The house and surrounding land enables us to be totally self sufficient - we would be devastated if we had to knock down."
Torridge District Council said the process had gone to appeal to decide if the notice is to be enforced and the house torn down.
A spokesman: "I can confirm Torridge District Council has served an enforcement notice that they remove the structure.
"However, as it has now gone to appeal, we have to wait for the inspector's decision before we can take any further action."