Lammas Newsletter, November 2008


Comment

By Paul Wimbush
Lammas coordinator

We were three quarters way through preparing our appeal case (which is looking incredibly robust) when we heard this latest news from the Planning Inspectorate.

It is, on first glance, devastating. It would seem that our project will have been set back by 9 months by Pembrokeshire County Council Planning Department, and we will have been denied any chance of a fair hearing.

However the biggest obstacles make the best stepping stones.

From a wider perspective this is but the latest chapter in an ongoing series of really poor choices and mistakes by the planners. We have been consistently misrepresented, mislead and misunderstood by them and this has been documented in our latest document “The Process”.

It will form a part of our new application which we are forging ahead with and which will be submitted shortly (and made available online).

Ultimately we do not want to make the planners wrong, we want to find a path through the planning system that makes low-impact living right. So that everyday people who want to make a change can find a piece of land and create a sustainable lifestyle for themselves in which a true connection to the Earth can be forged.

This latest round of documentation will include evidence from a wide range of well respected people and organisations and will help to build a very strong case for the viability of innovative low-impact projects now and in the future.

We are confident that there is a way through this. Quite what that looks like is not clear to us right now, but we are giving it everything that we’ve got.

With open hearts.


 

Lammas News

Lammas told to ‘start again’

In a shocking revelation the Lammas project, which is applying to build a hamlet of nine eco-smallholdings in Pembrokeshire, has been told it must begin its planning process again. After 18 months in the planning system, the Planning Inspectorate for Wales has ruled that they cannot consider Lammas’ appeal because the planning application is technically invalid due to an omission on the part of Pembrokeshire County Council.

Pembrokeshire County Council had advised Lammas that they would not need an “Access Statement”, which details how the site will be accessible for both disabled and able bodied people. However they are in fact duty bound to ensure that all planning applications are submitted with this statement. For an application not to be accompanied by an access statement makes it technically invalid.
Discussions with Pembrokeshire County Council about the situation have been fruitless, and Lammas has been advised that the only option open to them is to begin the planning process again.

In an attempt to resolve the situation Lammas wrote an open letter to Jane Davidson, Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing, asking her to intervene. She has replied saying that she cannot help us because there is officially no application to call in.
Paul Wimbush, Lammas coordinator, said of the situation.

“This amounts to gross negligence on the part of the local planning authority and is totally unacceptable. We have bent over backwards to work within the planning system and time and time again have been obstructed by it.”

“If sustainable development is the overarching objective of the planning system as is often claimed, then the planning system has failed spectacularly.”

For a full account of Lammas’ experiences in the planning system click on follow this link
to the Lammas website and download the latest Lammas report, “The Process”.

It is a compelling read.

Building a low-impact roundhouse video.

Following the recent launch of the second edition of his book, ‘Building a low-impact roundhouse’, Tony Wrench has been making some short films on roundhouse building. They are well worth a viewing:
Visit http://thatroundhouse.info/06.htm

New Low-Impact Development Book

Low Impact Development is an idea whose time has come. A radical form of sustainable housing and livelihood which is in tune with the natural environment, it offers us innovative solutions for the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.
This book outlines the what, why and how of Low Impact Development. In addition to exploring its potential, the book contains inspiring stories from those who have put Low Impact Development into practice, and plenty of ideas of how you can get involved.
Edited by Jenny Pickerill and Larch Maxey, the book includes contributions from Simon Fairlie, Tony Wrench, Simon Dale and many more.
Pre-order your copy now and get it fresh from the printers. Available through the Lammas website from the end of November 2008 for £5.


Low-Impact News

Ecovillages Newsletter

Ecovillages is a free, bimonthly, online newsletter the purpose of which is “to encourage and inspire new and existing ecovillage projects with news about ecovillages and related projects worldwide”.

Ecovillages will bring you stories about successful projects in every issue, as well as practical, how-to information.

From six to eight articles will appear in each issue, in a variety of topics, including:
* The ecovillage movement
* Ecovillage conferences & gatherings
* Ecovillages in the News
* Profiles of ecovillage activists
* Communication skills, decision-
making, governance
* Permaculture, natural building,
appropriate technology
* Legal, financial, & zoning practices
* “Ecovillagers Write” letters to the editor
* Book & Video Reviews

You’ll find stories about ecovillage projects in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Russia, South America, Australia and New Zealand, southern Asia, China, and Japan. (We’re everywhere!)

Check out:
http://www.ecovillagenews.org


Land for Sale

…at Pont y gafel farm, Glandwr, Whitland, SA34 0YD. There are 4 parcels of land for sale. The land is very beautiful with stunning views from the top. Each parcel has access and water. All are adjacent to proposed Lammas ecovillage project. All parcels are flat, west-sloping, and approximately 180 meters above sea level. Includes rights to spring water.

Parcel A: £50,000 Approximately 15 acres mixed pasture and woodland.


Parcel B: £50,000. Approximately 16 acres mixed pasture and woodland.


Parcel C: £40,000. Approximately 13 acres pasture.


Parcel D: £40,000. Approximately 13 acres pasture.

A very rare opportunity to purchase high quality land at below the current market rates. Applicants are advised that the parcels, being in excess of 12 acres, should be eligible for permitted agricultural development (barns).

Please contact Su Burke by e-mail (ffynnondeg@hotmail.com) either to arrange a viewing or to discuss further. The parcels will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

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