Brithdir roundhouse is finally approved

Gerrard Winstanley office at
Mon Sep 15 19:30:53 BST 2008

Congratulations to all concerned!  
Now, when's the party ;-)
Gerrard W.

Roundhouse approved after decade

A 10-year long planning battle over an illegally built eco-community
in north Pembrokeshire has finally ended with residents being told
they can stay.

The National Park Authority has approved the roundhouse at Brithdir
Mawr and a number of new buildings under its new sustainability policy.

It ends a decade of inquiries, court and planning hearings.

The authority was unaware the settlement existed until it was spotted
by chance from a helicopter in 1997.

Residents said they were delighted it had finally been recognised -
although the national park will review its decision in three years' time.

The application - in part retrospective and in part proposed - allows
for eight roundhouses along with toilets, agricultural buildings and
workshops on the land.

Materials include straw bales, locally-sourced timber, recycled glass
and walls plastered using clay and manure.

Permission has been granted for six permanent residents, five
visitors, ten campers and day visitors.

Power is generated on site, water is collected locally, and 75% of
residents' income will come from working the land and craft industries
such as wood carving.

Emma Orbach, who addressed Monday's meeting, said afterwards: "I'm
really excited and happy as it has been a very long experience.

"They are pioneering a new policy in the way that we pioneering a new

"The eyes of many different planning committees will have been on them
today and I understand change is difficult.

"There are stringent criteria so nobody will be able to go ahead and
do low-impact sustainable development without meeting [them].

"It's a milestone in a free society that a minority of people who wish
to live simply on the earth are now being given this opportunity.

"We want to prove it's possible and hopefully demonstrate that humans
can live more simply."

But not all the members of the committee backed the decision.

Councillor John Allen Mirehouse, who abstained, said: "I don't quite
see how this can be controlled - a proliferation of these will cause
us immense problems.

"It's a dwelling in open countryside. My sympathies go to the many
farmers who have had applications to convert existing farm buildings
turned down."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/09/15 14:04:04 GMT

see alsp
10-year Pembrokeshire eco-battle ends

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