Wednesday, 25 June 2014

25th June 2014 - Of Hobbit Homes and Hope....

Thought for the day:
"Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen"  Bob Edwards

A day of pleasant news in many ways. From the social media and newspapers I read that what is currently known affectionately  as "The Hobbit Home" of Charli and Meg in Pembrokeshire has got through another stage of its progress to prevent demolition...

Built on their parent's land and built to replace a leaky caravan (legal) which was on the same grounds, and to coincide with the birth of their first baby, it looks to be a lovely and eco-friendly building.

Sadly the local authority do not agree. Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning and rights of way committee met yesterday to discuss retrospective planning permission for the controversial one bedroom roundhouse, Pwll Broga, situated near Glandwr.
The council’s director of development is recommending that permission be refused, stating that the roundhouse is: “An unjustified development in the countryside contrary to the rural restraint strategy of the Local Development Plan.”

Megan Williams and her partner Charlie Hague initially built the roundhouse without planning permission. In 2012 the council ordered that it be demolished. A subsequent appeal was turned down by the planning inspector last summer.
They have now applied for retrospective planning permission under the Welsh Government One Planet Development (OPD) initiative.  Sadly - it seems that such an application requires more paperwork and red tape and different facilities from those created by Charlie and Meg..

OPD’s are low impact developments that either enhance or, through low impact, do not diminish environmental quality. However applicants have to fulfill stringent criteria and submit extremely detailed paperwork to qualify for OPD.
The director of development says the roundhouse does not qualify for OPD status, due in part to a lack of detailed paperwork!! 
“Despite its relatively low visual impact it erodes the rural character of its surroundings and represents an unsustainable form of development in terms of distance from day to day facilities.”
In his report he concludes that: “Anyone contemplating an OPD will be aware that, in order to satisfy Welsh Government planning policy and guidelines, a considerable volume of documentation and data recording is necessary. The level of information provided falls significantly short of the standard required to meet the essential characteristics of an OPD.”
However - on June 18th we can see what this means as the planning committee unanimously agreed to the development of a solar complex...
"The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has given the green light to a sustainable housing project in the north of the county.Members sitting on the planning committee unanimously approved Ty Solar’s proposals for six homes at Glanrhyd at their meeting on Wednesday, June 18.
Panel members spoke of the high quality of the development which would provide two and three bedroom homes for people living in the local area. Residents would benefit from free solar-powered electricity, Super BT Broadband and car sharing a subsidised electric car."
So what does this look like??
Yes - I see what they mean - obviously eco-friendly and fits right into the natural environment!!!

Now I do not really know the legality - but I would once more revisit the building of the "Hobbit Home"
If only in pictures which are taken from their Facebook pages...
I think pictures tell a thousand words so I will let them tell the story..

I think it is a shame - and I wish them well for the site meeting in July -

For more information their facebook pages are at Charlie & Meg's Roundhouse

Also more information and pictures on the Being Somewhere Website

On personal thoughts I do not understand why it cannot be granted in the same way that forestry buildings are sometimes granted, with a lien and rule that it is for their use only and should be taken down in the event that they decide that they wish to move. This would prevent the fear that it has been done for the purpose of selling on and flouting planning laws for gain ... But then again - I never did like red tape...
  Come the Zombie Apocolypse.......

But I will lift a glass of Chateau 41 - I see Susie has sterilized the bottles so may have another batch today - or maybe tomorrow ....      Cheers!!

Place and sign of the day

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