Devon 'self-sufficient' couple told to leave smallholding

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Jun 28 01:13:27 BST 2011

"We had a choice of squandering our lives stagnating on a council 
estate in the suburbs of London, or taking a leap of faith and moving 
our family somewhere to get in touch with nature and the rhythms of 
the seasons.
"We want a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our children, giving 
them the best start we can offer. Building our own home, working with 
the land to run an organic smallholding that gives back to the 
community of which it is part, we feel is the better of the two lives.
"We are restoring a traditional orchard, hay meadows, and hedgerows 
to restore the special landscape and celebrate the rich working 
history of the ancient veteran trees rich in wildlife and wild flowers.

Devon 'self-sufficient' couple told to leave smallholding
24 June 2011 Last updated at 20:06
A self-sufficient couple from Devon claim they have been told by a 
council to leave their smallholding.
Dinah and Stig Mason were refused planning permission to build a 
house on the four-acre site in Willand, classified as open countryside.
They have been told by the council to leave by Tuesday.
Mid Devon District Council said although it would like to help it 
must uphold planning policy.
The couple told BBC News they would continue their battle.
Mrs Mason said: "We are sustainable in vegetables and feed our family 
and other members of the village."
The site has an allotment and greenhouses and the couple have 
regenerated an orchard.
'Allowance in the law'
The couple are currently living in a lorry on the site and said they 
do not depend on the state.
If forced off the land they may have to use emergency accommodation 
and benefits, they added.
Mr Mason said: "For the small minority of people who do want to live 
like this there should be some allowance in the law."
The council said to get permission the couple had to prove there was 
a need for them to live there, and it was an enterprise that could 
provide income for at least one worker.
Councillor Richard Chesterton said: "The land is still classified as 
open countryside. We have a duty to uphold local and national 
planning policies."
An injunction has been served on the couple and they have been told 
to leave by 28 June.
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which 
alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

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