Planning Appeal Success for Sustainable Community

Community group, Rhiw Las, have won their planning appeal to build four low-impact smallholdings, where they will grow their own food, create their own energy, and develop their own ecological businesses. It is all part of Wales' 'One Planet Development' project.

A 'one planet' development for four families in Carmarthenshire has been granted (29 June 2016) planning permission upon appeal. Carmarthenshire Council was ruled to have "acted unreasonably in refusing planning permission", and been ordered to pay the families' appeal costs.

The development is called Rhiw Las, a group of four low-impact smallholdings in Carmarthenshire between Llanboidy and Whitland. It had originally sought planning permission in November 2014 under the 'One Planet Development planning principle. This was refused by Carmarthenshire Council’s Planning Committee – against the planning officer’s recommendation of approval.

That decision has now been overturned at appeal and planning permission has been granted for the development to go ahead.

The Inspector said: "Some parties have questioned the ability of a land area of around 21.5 acres to support and meet the essential needs of four households and the associated land based activities from which income would be derived. However, land-based OPD is very different to a typical modern lifestyle or standard agricultural practice. I am satisfied that the initial five year management plan satisfies the requirements of land based OPD in the countryside and is supported by robust financial appraisals of projected income and expenditure."

The four families – which include six children – can now build their homes and live on the land. These will be four modest ecologically sustainable houses that will be 'zero carbon' in construction and use.

Read more here.