Green living links 24.4.11

From now on we’ll be posting a weekly round-up on the politics, policy and psychology of green living. So, to kick off…

One comment

  • We have a 34 acre site on the edge of a village in North Lanarkshire that we are trying to get planning permission on for 7 smallholdings, each with permission for a self build eco-sustainable house. Each house will have to have ground source heating, ground water harvesting systems and numerous other eco-sustainable requirements as part of the required build. Our major issue is that the local council (North Lanarkshire Council) are adament that we do not build on the land or gain planning permsission for some reason or another.
    > Local scottish planning laws state that as the ground is classed as “Greenbelt” we have to have an agricultural business in place in order to justify building on the greenbelt but as you know a smallholding will not do that as it is predominantly a self-sufficiency and change of lifestyle idea rather than a commercial business opportunity.
    > The local community are keen to have the smallholdings and we proposed that we would include 10 locally available allotments in order that people can grow their own food and any surplus can be sold on to local residents but the council are adament that unless there is 2 years worth of business books that show there is enough funds to support each smallholding business then they are not prepared to support our ideas at any cost.
    > The local MSP is also in support as is the Scottish Government’s head planner but the local council planning policies do not support our ideas and requirements an the council are not prepared to alter their current policies to take advantage of this growing local requirement. The council’s view was that we should just sell the land and move elsewhere but as you know this is not always an option when you are looking to do things on a smallholding scale. The smallholdings need to be in the right place and have support locally in order to succeed. There is no point in doing this 10 miles away in the middle of nowhere when you have a possible selling source right on your doorstep.
    > We feel that we are just hitting our head off of a brick wall as far as the council is concerned.
    > We completed a community consutation at the councils request and got a planning consultant involved. So far at a cost to us of approximately £6k.
    > The area in which we are looking to have this small development is notorious for serious levels of anti-social behaviour and we would like or you to potentially use our plans as a case study in order to help reduce ASBO’s in the area and or us to be able to give what we can back to the smaller and younger farming community in the way of smallholdings and allotments.
    > Does anyone have any ideas how we can proceed othe than to re-write the planning policies currently in pplace within North Lanarkshie to addess the envionmental and eco-sustaiable issues caused by a lack of this type of propety in Scotland?
    > Many thanks
    > Lyn Lewis

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