A RENOWNED Huddersfield architect has been caught up in a planning row in a Yorkshire beauty spot.
Arthur Quarmby, of Holme, is the man who designed a grass-roofed house for businessman Howard Buffett, but the plans have fallen foul of a National Park authority.
They rejected the plans and could now face a public inquiry.
Company director Mr Buffett was sure his grass-roofed house would win the approval of environmentally-minded planners in the Yorkshire Dales.
Mr Quarmby is a world expert on "under dwellings" and his own house is built beneath Peak District National Park land.
And the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority itself has an office complex partly built below ground.
But instead Mr Buffett has found himself at loggerheads with the authority - which rejected his scheme saying it was not in keeping with the local area.
Mr Buffett described the authority's decision to block plans for the three-bedroom home at Hardraw, near Hawes, as "unjust" and has vowed to fight the move at a public inquiry.
His house has been designed by world-renowned architect Mr Quarmby, who 30 years ago built his own acclaimed earth-sheltered home, Underhill, at Holme.
Yorkshire Dales officials insist they were right to refuse Mr Buffett permission because his earth house would be outside Hardraw settlement boundaries and "not in keeping" with the rest of the village.
They defended the authority's own turf-covered building, part of a new office complex at Bainbridge, claiming it is within planning policy because it is built on an "employment site"- a former North Yorkshire County Council depot.
Mr Buffett said: "It's unbelievable that they gave themselves planning permission for their own earth-sheltered building, but turned down my application without the planning committee even bothering to see the site."
He added: "The house would literally be built into the landscape, which surrounds, insulates and protects it; and, of course, makes it virtually invisible to the outside world.
"The garden and the roof of the house would be covered with wild flowers and local grasses.
"It should be a haven for birds, insects and small mammals and should look absolutely beautiful."
The National Park's head of planning, Peter Watson, said there was nothing in its policy against earth-sheltered buildings and stressed two years ago it approved a similar design for an extension to the visitor centre at the White Scar Caves, near Ingleton.
"The primary problem for Mr Buffett's proposed earth house is its locality.
"It falls outside the village boundary, where housing development cannot be permitted in anything other than exceptional circumstances, where essential need is demonstrated," he said.