By Paul Wimbush
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
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
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 told to ‘start
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
“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
to the Lammas website and download the latest Lammas report,
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
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
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
Pre-order your copy now and get it fresh from the printers.
the Lammas website from the end of November 2008 for £5.
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-
* Permaculture, natural building,
* 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!)
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.
£50,000 Approximately 15 acres mixed pasture and woodland.
Parcel B: £50,000. Approximately 16 acres mixed pasture
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
either to arrange a viewing or to discuss further. The parcels
will be sold on a first come, first served basis.