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Kirkby Stephen could hold one of the first public votes, allowed under the Localism Act 2012, to decide the future of Carr House.
The building has been at the centre of a planning dispute for the last eight years.
Tim Backshall reports.
A long running planning row in Cumbria could be settled by a public vote.
It would be one of the first cases of the Localism Act 2012 in action.
Eight years ago, Adam Hoyle renovated Carr House, situated in Mallerstang, near Kirkby Stephen.
The property had been redeveloped as an eco house, unconected to the national grid, with its own mini hydro electric plant.
However, to Mr Hoyle's surprise, Eden District Council told him he didn't have the necessary planning permission and ordered him to undo the work.
To complicate matters further, Adam cannot undo the repairs because the roof has bats roosting inside, and they and their habitats are protected by law.
Now the issue is whether or not he can live in the house.
To try and reach a resolution, it is possible that around 4000 people in Kirby Stephen could be asked to vote on the matter.
New localism laws give people the power to have a referendum on this issue and if the new process goes ahead, the fate of Carr House could be decided by a public vote later this year.