Jan 092018
 

LAMMAS

I hope you’ve got over your amazement on hearing about the fire at the Lammas ‘ecovillage’ in Pembrokeshire, and wondering how such buildings were allowed in the first place.

The truth is it’s because the ‘Welsh’ Government dances to the hippy tune, even legislating for them with nonsense like One Wales: One Planet and Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which in practice are little more than hippy magnets.

Bad enough, but by following links and making connections, it becomes clear how these hippy settlements link with other colonial operations in ripping off the Welsh public purse and arrogantly claiming to have the answers to ‘problems’ the inhabitants of the Welsh countryside didn’t realise existed.

Let’s stick with Lammas for a minute. Which we see here described as an “off-grid ecovillage”.

Something repeated on the Lammas website, where we read: “Electrical power is generated from a series of micro photovoltaic installations along with a 27kW hydro generator. Heating power is supplied from timber (either waste timber from our woodland management or from short-rotation-coppice biomass plantations). Domestic water comes from a private spring and other water needs are predominantly met from harvesting rainwater.”

So it’s off-grid in terms of its electrical supply, and self-sufficient in water, apparently. Though I’m a little confused by the wording, which reads, “Domestic water comes from a private spring and other water needs are predominantly met from harvesting rainwater.” ‘Predominantly’ is not exclusively, and suggests the spring and harvested rainwater are supplemented in some way.

Is water toted from a nearby stream or is there a mains water supply to Lammas?

Worth asking because reports on the recent fire mention a ‘junction box’. Again, this could be explained by the solar, hydro or biomass power, but it also raises the prospect of a mains electricity supply.

Note that the account I’ve linked to in the Telegraph quotes Jasmine Dale, who lived in the house, saying, ” . . . we know the feeling, our first home burnt down . . . “. We also read, ” . . . there have been three similar incidents in Pembrokeshire in the last year.” Bloody hell!

What do these fires have in common, could it be something to do with the way certain buildings are constructed? I ask because someone drew my attention to a Facebook exchange on the subject of the Lammas fire.

Hoppi Wimbush is the wife of Paul, and with her husband is one of the founders of Lammas/Tir y Gafel. What she has to say is very interesting. “The corridors acted like a chimney” suggests that there were no internal doors, certainly no fire doors. All accounts I’ve read suggest that the fire took hold very quickly and burned fiercely. So, again, what might have caused that?

The answer may come, unintentionally, from Rachel Shiamh, who says in the Facebook conversation, “As we all know, straw bale buildings are not a high fire risk . . . “. Now I know that we are dealing here with people who prefer an alternative lifestyle, but this woman also demands an alternative reality, because straw bales are inherently flammable, and to pretend otherwise is insane!

So why is Rachel Shiamh spouting such nonsense? – because she is of course a proselytiser for ‘strawbale’ construction.

UPDATE 09.01.2018: Just days after the Lammas fire the English Planning Inspectorate overruled Pembrokeshire county council to give planning permission to another ‘low impact smallholding’ in the county. Significantly, the inspector used both pieces of legislation I mentioned above to justify her decision.

UPDATE 16.01.2018: If you’re tempted to visit Lammas – for God’s sake don’t eat there!

click to enlarge

ANOTHER LAMMAS!

You’ll have read that Rachel Shiamh thanks David Thorpe, so who might he be? To begin with, we see that he’s another denizen of Alternative Reality who also believes that strawbale buildings are just fine.

. . . no, they just burn better

Beyond that, David Thorpe manages the Calon Cymru Network based in Llandeilo. It’s a community interest company registered with Companies House. While there are no eye-watering amounts of money involved (yet) there are ambitious plans.

In the immediate future, this recent tweet suggests that someone plans an ecovillage, another Lammas, in the Tywi valley.

Regular readers may be struck by the venue for this meeting last Sunday about a new ecovillage, for it’s at the former YMCA building in Llandovery run by Jill Tatman, which has been told by the YMCA organisation to stop using the YMCA label. I wrote about it a couple of months back, scroll down to the section Llandovery YMCA.

So where might this new ecovillage be located?

I suspect that it’s at Coed Tal-y-Lan aka Red Pig Farm. And if that sounds familiar then it’s because I also wrote about the place and those involved back in September 2016, in The Green Smokescreen, which I urge you to read, in order to understand the kind of people we’re dealing with. Not just the shyster-hippies but the politicians, in Labour and Plaid Cymru, who back them.

The Englishman James Scrivens, and the Danish woman Sara Tommerup, who run Red Pig Farm also use the names Agroecology Land Trust and Black Mountain Food Hub. Sara is – perhaps predictably – a ‘graduate’ of the Centre for Alternative Technology.

The Black Mountain Food Hub had a Twitter account that seemed to think Wales is in England. Quaint!

As you might expect, I went to the Land Registry website for the details on Red Pig Farm or Coed Tal-y-Lan, but what came up for that post code was ‘Pentre Bach’, so I took a chance and bought it.

The title document then confuses the issue a little further by giving the name of the property as Tan-Y-Lan Woodlands, which is obviously a part-Anglicisation of Coed Tan-y-Lan, and is owned by Christopher John Cooper of Ammanford. And although I was able to download the title document from the Land Registry website, there was no outline plan to accompany it, as is normally the case.

So who is Christopher John Cooper? And is Red Pig Farm on his property, perhaps formerly known as Pentre Bach? If Red Pig Farm is not on the land owned by Cooper then why isn’t it registered separately with the Land Registry?

The picture is further complicated by 192.com which suggests that also based at Red Pig Farm are S E & E O Williams, who appear to be genuine Welsh farmers.

In a final attempt to make some sense of what the place is called and who might own it, I went to the Companies House entry for Red Pig Farm Ltd . . . though the company changed its name in December to Coed Talylan Ltd. The company had been known as Red Pig Farm Ltd since June 2016, before which it was Agroecology Land Initiative Ltd.

There have also been a few changes of address since Incorporation in February 2015, with the first registered address being in Stroud, Gloucestershire. In June 2015 the address changed to Werndolau Farm, Golden Grove, Carmarthen SA32 8NE (which seems to be linked to Red Pig Farm via the Black Mountain Food Hub). In May 2016 the address was settled as Red Pig Farm.

So who owns what and how are they connected? And how many different names are there for this property? Answers on a postcard, please . . .

MORE ALTERNATIVE REALITY

Ecovillages and all the other elements of this strategy are being encouraged, so we are told by the ‘Welsh’ Government and those involved, to do something about global warming, and who can argue with that? So let’s give it some thought.

Let’s focus on 76 acres of unused land in north Pembrokeshire, land that has no carbon footprint. Then a bunch of people move in from England. They clear that land, cut down trees, burn wood to create smoke, produce human and animal waste including methane, and create a substantial carbon footprint where there was none before.

Clearly, Lammas and other communities, like the one planned for Red Pig Farm, because they develop unused land and are populated exclusively by incomers, increase Wales’ carbon footprint. Which means that the fundamental premiss of the whole strategy is – as we environmentalists are wont to say after a glass or five of Malbec – utter bollocks.

The counter-argument might be that this encouraged degradation is a price worth paying for the educational role played by places like Lammas in helping Wales become more environmentally friendly. But there is little if any interaction with the indigenous population to facilitate an educational role.

We know this because the only people who attend the courses run by Lammas, or volunteer to work on these ecovillages and similar schemes, are people just like those running them – members of the English middle class hoping to find their own bit of land in Wales and move in . . . to build more fire-traps like those at Lammas.

By moving to Wales those involved with Lammas, Red Pig Farm and similar ventures increase Wales’ carbon footprint but of course they reduce England’s; so is our ‘Welsh’ Government legislating to make England a greener and pleasanter land by attracting these people to Wales?

♦ end ♦

 

  88 Responses to “Hippies and associated problems”

  1.  

    I can remember I think in the late 70’s 80’s there was a house erected by a local with a family who didn’t have planning permission not much more than a mile from Lammas. If I remember rightly, it was between Lammas and Pentregalar on the Crymych to Narberth Rd. A bitter argument followed between the owner and the local council. He had support locally. The highly respected local minister Edwin J Davies was there demonstrating on the road-side that the man could keep his home. If I remember rightly, this guy had threatened the powers that be that he had a gun and would use it to defend his family home. And that’s the way it was. When he passed away, down came the house. It’s strange that those in authority have very long memories……in certain cases.

  2.  

    Hippies, lefties,….. these labels do a disservice in that they offer connotations of some idealised purist way if life free from that horrible real world where people have to earn money to spend it. Grim reality in this sad corrupt early 21st century Wales is that we are seeing yet another alternative form of parasitic entity as these communes or whatever you want to call them would not exist if they were denied access to public sector support and public services funded by the rest of us. They closely resemble the iniquitous 3rd sector that thrives in Wales making growth industries out of other people’s miserable circumstances but do nothing to liberate them from those conditions. Certain 3rd sector bodies probably have a symbiotic relationship with this kind of parasite entity.

  3.  

    Red Pig Farm, Happy Donkeys on a Hill. Whatever next. What is our beloved country coming to. Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn anwyl i mi, gwlad feirdd a chantorion …….. I assume title deeds to these eco dwellings are not available from Land Registry. How does one sell such a “desirable residence” with original cost of construction £27,000 but with rebuilding cost estimated at £500,000 following a fire. Are the occupants owners or occupiers. Are landlords registered and licensed with Rent Smart Wales. It will be interesting to see how the requirement under Building Regulations 2010 [as amended] to install automatic fire suppression equipment [sprinklers] to all new dwellings in Wales [including eco dwellings] will be enforced, particularly on sites where there is no mains water facility.

    On a separate note, following the cabinet reshuffle in London yesterday perhaps it is also time for Carwyn to reshuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic, with Ms Wood in charge of the lifeboats.

  4.  

    And another One Planet bonfire/investment has just been approved elsewhere in Sir Benfro !

    https://businessnewswales.com/bid-to-build-low-impact-smallholding-in-pembrokeshire-granted-on-appeal/?utm_source=BNW+%7C+Newsletter+9th+Jan+2017&utm_campaign=UA-62466858-1&utm_medium=email

    Quote from Planning Inspector : “In reaching this decision, I have taken into account the ways of working set out at section 5 of the WBFGA (Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and I consider that this decision is in accordance with the sustainable development principle through its contribution towards one or more of the Welsh Ministers well-being objectives set out as required by Section 8 of the WBFGA.”.

    I can’t believe that such a planning decision gets processed within days of that fire without any mention of whether any further or better safeguards are required.

    •  

      Well spotted, Dafis. I see that the appellant is actually an architect with a Barry address, and that one of the professional services he provides is the submission of applications for Building Regulations.
      https://www.yell.com/biz/rooms-under-the-sky-barry-8799753/

      No need to bother with those old things, mun.

      •  

        WBFGA has its own Commissioner, mentioned in at least one of Jac’s previous articles, Sophie Howe, a “rising star” within the Labour ranks now working her way through a series of well paid jobs reserved for those loyal to the party agenda in Wales while possibly getting set for a nice safe seat at an election ( though I suspect the pay in her present job beats the going rate for a humble A.M. !).

        •  

          Ah, yes, the fragrant Sophie, former deputy to South Wales PCC Alun Michael; former ‘adviser’ to both Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. You can’t get much more Labour insider than Sophie.

  5.  

    HI Jac you are mixing two places up _ Lammas was an above board undertaking, the place spotted from ariel photography was Brithdir Mawr near Tudraeth.
    As far as I know the eco village is nothing to do with Red Pig Farm which is another matter but do do with the development of affordable housing in rural areas.
    Red Pig Farm is some kind of pie in the sky thing connected to Black Mountain Food Hub – which is a container at Llandeilo train station which is never open , i don’t know what that is all about although they advertise themselves as selling local produce, but there there is already a local country market in Llandeilo every Friday which evolved from the WI market .

    •  

      Thanks for that, Gaynor, but knowing that there’s yet another bloody hippy settlement in the area doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.

      Turning to Red Pig Farm, I believe that’s the location of the planned Tywi valley ecovillage because of Scrivens’ and Tommerup’s past behaviour in Gloucestershire, where they were virtually thrown out. https://youtu.be/FLOXg_UrXgI

      Also because I’ve read somewhere that that is their intention for Red Pig Farm/Coed Tal-y-Lan, plus the fact that the 192.com info I used describes Red Pig Farm as “letting agents”. Finally, the Companies House entry describes the business as “Management of real estate on a fee or contract basis”.

      All of which suggests more than just flogging a bit of organic fruit and veg. And now I also remember that they submitted a planning application for more dwellings.

      P.S. Here’s a link to the Companies House website entry for the company Scrivens and Tommerup set up when they were in the Forest of Dean. When the alleged squatters were evicted from Yorkley Court Farm Scrivens and Tommerup came to Wales, though they might have left before it turned nasty.

  6.  

    Well said Jac. I decided to watch the Grand Designs episode with the Lammas house out of curiosity and two factors really stood out. Firstly, as many trained craftspeople/ building inspectors etc will know, Linseed oil is highly flammable and can self combust. In the programme and on various websites there is mention that, “The floors were made of rammed earth, which was polished and hardened with linseed oil”. They were very lucky that the family was not sleeping in the house when the fire broke out!!

    https://www.esfrs.org/black-museum/all-the-black-museum-cases/spontaneous-combustion-of-linseed-oil/

    http://prepperssurvivalhomestead.com/tag/eco-home/

    http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/news/a39551/linseed-oil-fire/

    The other issue that struck me about the Grand Design programme, was the complete lack of discussion about Wales, other than showing an opening shot of Mynyddoedd y Preseli. The continuous disrespect of representing Wales as solely a beautiful location to move to, like it’s just another county of England, is beyond arrogant. Yet the lack of dialogue in the English media and schools about the history, culture and language of Wales, is exactly why those people who move to Wales are so arrogant, ignorant and damn right insensitive.

    Here is another example of those who have arrogantly been able to manipulate the new lax planning laws, using the Eco Grand designs theme, but this is a member of the super rich, who of course, is exploiting the situation and continuing the colonisation and spoiling of the Penrhyn Llŷn. It’s never ending, when will the Government wake up, or are they actively trying to destroy Wales?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5246311/Millionaire-wants-turn-2-2m-house-glass-mansion.html

    •  

      There is of course a certain type of Englishman who still thinks they own the world, but most of the people you refer to probably just know no better than to see Wales as a sort of ‘West Anglia’. After all, devo has been around for I don’t know how many years, yet you seem incapable of electing an assembly government that sticks up for Wales. Labour ran Scotland too for the first few years, as of course was the plan, but then the Scots saw sense and gave them the old heave-oh. Pity the Welsh didn’t take the hint and follow their example.

    •  

      Between linseed oil, straw bales, no fire doors, dodgy electrics and cutting of corners on Building Regs this was a fire waiting to happen.

      Myfanwy points to the arrogance and insensitivity of those moving to Wales, and Hoppi’s website does nothing to counter this claim, where “Welsh” isn’t even afforded the courtesy of a capital letter. I don’t think it’s a typo (second paragraph) because the rest of the text is OK. The name “Hoppi Wimbush” has to be her Earth Name, surely? There can’t really be someone named that.
      https://hoppiwimbush.co.uk/?pageid=19

      Finally, I haven’t checked, but do these One Planet guidelines advise on restricting the number of them in Wales? Now there’s a foot in the door they are popping up in numbers that make me quite uneasy. Word’s gone out, see – it’s a great place to be, “wales” is. Positively helpful to eco-hippies if you want to build in the countryside where a normal developer would be told to fuck off. You can surround yourself with other middle class Englanders fleeing the shithole their own country has become. You can build a house for less than you paid for your BMW. Then when the bugger burns down your neighbours will crowd fund for you to build another one, so why bother with insurance like those stupid Taffies? What’s there not to like? I think I’ll put my name down for one myself.

      •  

        ‘Earth name’! You surprise me, Stan, maybe we should all adopt Earth names. I’ll be Sippi Malbec.

        •  

          You won’t have to find an Earth Name for your mate Parry because he aptly named himself “Muck Raker”, though I much prefer the even Earthier “Shit Stirrer” myself.

    •  

      Playing devil’s advocate . . . if you were caught in a fire in one of those ‘houses’ it might be relatively easy to kick out a bit of the wall and escape.

      •  

        Now that’s handy, a built in fire escape, which you kick out.., what an award winning design !!

        Another thing they didn’t think about of course, among many others, as you mentioned earlier, is insurance, the subject of which comes up time and again by disbelieving commentators on the comments pages of the press. There appears to be a rear guard to this, who defend the use of straw bails and say they didn’t have insurance, because after 6 years “the house still wasn’t finished”. The guidance for self building, is to have insurance in place throughout the process,

        https://www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/self-build-insurance/

        Of course, this insurance would probably cost an arm and a leg, particularly with their throwaway admission that their first eco house also went up in flames!

        Stan also mentions about public admission and access, which most commercial enterprises have to pay insurance cover for in case of accidents. If an accident did happen with a less than amenable visitor and there was no insurance, it could be a very costly business in today’s litigious world.

        This is a dialogue from the crowd fund page, discussing fire safety etc, the responsibility of passing the house, is firmly placed at the “Building regs inspector’s” door.

        Jeffrey Newman
        “It was a beautiful house and I watched the Grand Designs programme enthralled. I will make a (small) donation but please let us know more about the fire safety features. Were they entirely missing? The materials of which the house was built are high-risk, so precautions seem essential. Was there simply insufficient money? What about building standards regulations? Excuse these nasty questions at a time of such grief and pain but they are important going forward.”
        Like · Reply · 5 · Jan 4, 2018 9:54pm

        Cassandra Lishman · Basketmaker, sculptor & felt artist at Origin
        “Hi Jeffrey, all valid questions. Their house had a building regs inspector there at each stage, and straw as a building materials is proven to be safe through the work of Straw Works & Straw Build (please google them). Those companies have done loads of tests with fire services. Noone yet knows how this fire spread so quickly, but the house wasn’t finished which was possibly a factor. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me on FB if you have more questions. Cassandra Lishman (Simon & Jasmine’s neighbour at Lammas).”

        •  

          Does anyone know how these dwellings are assessed for Council tax, or are they exempt. If not exempt, what band are they in.

          •  

            Diolch Wynne for writing to Carwyn,

            In regard to Council tax and OPDs, in 2005 when this article was written (https://www.thatroundhouse.info/differently.htm), Paul Wrench stated that:

            “Eco villages will need different building regulations, different roads and transport requirements, new planning guidance, and, last but not least, a new council tax band for low impact livers. At Brithdir Mawr we have the local council wanting to charge council tax in the £30,000 value band for huts that cost £250 to build. Ecovillages can do their own sewage, recycling, roads, water treatment, community heating and lighting, plus possibly education and waste disposal as well. How much should council tax be in these cases?”

            Since then, there will have been plenty of campaigning undertaken to get the costs reduced etc. It’s quite an eye opener to see how pushy and persistent the likes of Paul Wimbush (earth name; Tao, as in “The way”!) have been behind the scene, while self promoting the cause on social media, in sometimes quite a manipulative way, to get what they wanted, here he writes to Carwyn in quite the assertive manner:

            http://livinginthefuture.org/resources/Paul-Wimbush-One-Planet-Development-Letter-Welsh-Government-Planning-Inspectorate.pdf

            According to the One Planet Development site,

            “Practitioners of One Planet Development in the open countryside are required to meet their basic household needs (food, energy, water, waste assimilation, and money to pay for IT/communications, council tax, clothing, and transport) from land based activity within a 5 year period.” http://www.oneplanetcouncil.org.uk/10goodreasons/

            The amount of Council tax paid and whether all house holders pay within that 5 year period, is not made clear, but if they are in the lowest band A: dwellings worth up to £44,000 they will pay £558.77. However, now they mention that the cost of their house has dramatically increased to £500.000, they will now be eligible for Council tax band I, which will be £2060.68, thank you very much!

            https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/council-tax-information/calculation-of-council-tax-2017-18

            •  

              Thanks Myfanwy. Nice to know they are required to pay something. I was beginning to think that completion certificates under Building Regulations was the trigger for an assessment for Council tax i.e. no certificate and therefore no assessment. The never ending project !

              •  

                Remember Charlie & Meg’s so called Hobbit House that received loads of publicity a few years ago when Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC)planning enforcement wanted it demolished but were overturned on appeal:

                https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/15/hobbit-house-family-save-home-from-bulldozers

                I must admit that I did not initially realise that Charlie & Meg’s place is on land owned by Charlie’s parents next to the Lammas settlement. Charlie and Meg are local and were inspired by Simon & Jasmine Dale and their illegal building activities at Lammas. There were a number of arguments put forward by Charlie & Meg on appeal to keep their unauthorised Hobbit House including they should be considered as a One Planet settlement and they had been paying council tax for the previous two years.

                So the authority appear to have shot themselves in the foot by assessing and collecting council tax on a dwelling that did not have any form of planning permission. Further, PCC are very weak when it comes to planning enforcement (as I’m sure Wynne would agree), sadly losing this high profile case has probably made PCC more reluctant to take action, particularly on One Planet planning applications.

                •  

                  The ‘Hobbit House’ was an atypical case because Megan Williams was local, and that was played up. But you’re right about a reluctance to go against properties claiming to comply with OnePlanet directives, this is because the ‘Welsh’ Government wants them and the Planning Inspectorate will always overturn a council refusal. So why bother?

            •  

              Earth name “Tao”. Hmmm.

              Here’s a link to a council website (English one, sorry) but it explains succinctly what a Completion Notice is. It also shows that new properties can be “banded” before various internal works like completion of kitchens and bathrooms has been carried out.

              https://www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200028/council-tax/1905/council-tax-new-properties-and-completion-notices

              The clear separation between Completion Notices and Building Regs is a new one on me. You are never too old to learn.

              “The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for Building Control; therefore, whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not directly relevant.”

              •  

                Thanks for that Stan. Interesting. To add to the complexity as I understand it only a local authority can issue a Building Regulation “completion certificate”. If the certificate is issued by a private Approved Inspector it is known as a “final certificate”. Following the tragic events in London I believe the UK government has concluded that the Building Regulations are not fit for purpose. Welsh Government will probably come to the same conclusion in due course. As Building Regulations is a devolved function the regulations in Wales are not necessarily the same as England. I believe there have been a few minor changes already with probably more planned for the future.

        •  

          If the house wasn’t finished, it presumably lacked a completion certificate. Therefore, no-one should have been living in it. Indeed, it would be reckless to do so if the building hadn’t been passed as safe for occupation.

  7.  

    So if as you say there’s official backing, loopholes etc., etc., for these kinds of projects, why aren’t the ‘natives’ taking advantage of them. After all you can surely be thoroughly Welsh and thoroughly ‘green’ at the same time? It seems a bit off, to say the least, that you ignore these opportunities only to bellyache when someone else takes them up. Ond be dw i’n gwbod?

    •  

      If you’re Welsh, with a decent home, why would you want to move into a ‘hobbit house’? The legislation enacted in recent years is done to attract the kind of people I’ve dealt with in this piece. That’s its purpose. It’s ‘Welsh’ legislation that offers Welsh people very little, which rather gives away its origin.

      •  

        So every Welsh person has a decent home, or enough cash in their back pocket to buy one? Wales is not exactly the richest part of the UK, a point I’m sure you’ve made often enough. If Welsh communities are as close and loving as is often made out, why aren’t they working together to utilise their natural resources for their own common good? Security is important too, I’d rather own a shack than live in a ‘decent’ house facing eviction at the whim of a landlord.

        •  

          All the Welsh people I know – and I know quite a few! – would prefer a boring old house made of bricks and mortar, or slate, with running water and an electricity grid connection, and things like a flushable toilet. Those being discussed here are either masochistic zealots, romantics, or charlatans. And all have come from outside of Wales to take advantage of stupid legislation that is of no benefit to the natives of the country that those enacting this legislation claim to be serving. Making this second group lying bastards just serving England’s interests.

          Now go away and stop bothering me.

  8.  

    Simon Dale had already built one home at Lammas, which remains intact, so the family are not technically homeless. The home lost to fire was the new 3 bedroom luxury build, as opposed to the hobbit style house they were living in. You will note from the detailed account, from Hoppi Wimbush on Facebook, that Jasmine [Dale] had gone to the other house to get some towels after putting on the electric fire in the ‘new; house to heat Cosmo’s [her daughter or son’s?] bedroom. This leads me to believe that this is all about aspiration and not eco living e.g. my teepee is too small so I need a Hobbit House; my Hobbit House is too small I need a half a million pound 3 bed spread in a National Park, no less.

    If you can be bothered to read Simon Dale’s website it is clear he is anti mortgages, planning and earning a living wage. He teaches and encourages others on how to avoid having a mortgage and still get on the housing ladder, quickly. In fact he identifies Pembrokeshire as the place to achieve this goal, in this extract from his web site:

    ‘I would currently recommend development followed by a retrospective application as required, preferably in Pembrokeshire, as the best approach for individual or groups wishing start a new low impact living project’.

    I note that these eco trailblazers (no pun intended), are moving on to the next part of their agenda, which is long term acceptance of their homes and settlements. They are already writing that the food sustainability element of the WAG One Planet initiative is too stringent and by building bigger more permanent homes and structures (the odd fire permitting) there is a permanence of their homes; One Planet requires structures to be temporary and removed within a lifetime. You can see the future headlines in the national press and on Grand Designs, promoted by their friends in the English media, ‘Welsh Government official wants to demolish my £0.5m award winning eco house’.

    Finally, I live in Pembrokeshire and was turned down for a modest extension on my 3 bed house which nobody other than the planning officer objected to. The officer thought the extension had too much glass and would impact the character of the existing house, a house that was built in the late 1980’s. I intend to reapply with a bit less glass (i.e. more eco friendly) and a solar powered disco glitter ball in the new extension to retain that 80’s chic. If that fails I will go for full demolition followed by a two storey hobbit house without planning permission and then go for retrospective approval if anyone from the authority notices.

    •  

      Here’s the link to Simon Dale encouraging people to build without planning permission, scroll down to ‘Conclusion’.

      •  

        The more I learn about these people, the more slippery and underhand is my impression. We’re too soft and too welcoming and the causes of this have been mentioned many times on Jac’s blog. They wouldn’t be able to carry this out in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland but we provide them a haven. FFS, we need to get a grip.

    •  

      Nice one Andy. I have dealt with town planners over the years. Nothing surprises me anymore. Anyone breaching planning control is simply required to submit a retrospective application which is then approved. Planning enforcement is a joke.

    •  

      “Simon Dale had already built one home at Lammas, which remains intact, so the family are not technically homeless.” – Andy.

      Please, therefore, can you confirm if Mr Dale has been paying a standard as well as a second home premium rate council tax in Pembrokeshire for his dwellings has clearly been in possession of a second home in the years 2016 and 2017?

      •  

        Brychan that is a very interesting point about council tax. Assuming council tax is paid, it leads me to wonder how the authority value these properties for banding purposes.

        Do they use the ‘we built it for £3000 pound, honest’ value or the ‘it is going to cost us £500,000 to rebuild’ value.

        •  

          Which band of council tax a property gets placed in is done by the valuation office.

          Revaluation has taken place in Wales a few years ago (but not in England). It’s based on what a property is ‘worth’. New properties are placed in the same band as similar properties in that area. There are specific council tax exemptions for monasteries, students, ministers of religion, or armed service barracks.

          There is a ‘Section 52 consideration for OnePlanet occupation” so it is classed as a ‘caravan’. If the criteria for a Lammas house did not get Section 52, it would be based on a large detached property with many acres of land. This would be very much at the ‘posh’ end of the banding.

          Classed as a ‘caravan’, the plots at Lammas are in the lowest council tax band. “A”.

          •  

            The council tax valuation office for Wales is
            Council Tax Wales, Valuation Office Agency, Ty Glyder, 339 High Street, Bangor, LL57 1EP.
            Tel – 03000 505505

            Lammas is here…
            https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fmn/fmn.asp?uprn=10090281046&getdata=null
            SA34 0YD

            Roundhouse at Brithdir Mawr is here..
            https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fmn/fmn.asp?uprn=10023953002&getdata=null
            SA42 0QJ

            Both are classed as band ‘A’, for three bedroom detached dwelling with a number of acres of land. Strange that Mr Dale at Lammas claims that after the fire the dwelling is worth with rebuilding cost estimated at £500,000. This gives a true value of these kinds of property.

            •  

              The Dales have already raised £32,000 from their friends for the re-build. A sum which most couples in Wales would struggle to acquire, busting a gut working for a living, to get as a deposit on much more modest dwelling. They would then be hit with council tax bills, on average based on band D. Paying twice as much contribution to pay for such services as the Mid and West Wales Fire Service. These Lammas charlatans are nothing but colonial spongers, living off the contributions of the existing population.

              •  

                “These Lammas charlatans are nothing but colonial spongers, living off the contributions of the existing population”.

                That eloquently sums up my feelings as well, Brychan. And not only that, but now the WAG have opened the door with the One Planet TAN6, we shall inevitably end up with a growing number of their ilk. I find it reprehensible that Wales has provided the planning guidance to let them settle here, then the ungrateful bastards advise ignoring the proper planning process and just build and apply retrospectively. That ought to be made a criminal offence surely? If every developer did similarly, the whole planning system would collapse, and there would be chaos across the country. And to really rub salt into the wound they get away with the same council tax as a fucking caravan!

                •  

                  The ‘Welsh’ Government, with Plaid Cymru support, is forever legislating or planning to legislate in the interests of England and the English. Another example – dressed up as ‘Sustainable Management of Natural Resources‘ – includes the proposal to open up all Welsh waterways to canoes and kayaks.

                  Inevitably this is supported by the kind of pressure groups that represent the English middle classes, such as the Open Spaces Society.

                  How do you protect an environment by letting thousands of twats loose on it?

                  The message everywhere, and nowhere louder than from the tourism industry, is – ‘It may be called Wales but really it belongs to you, to do with as you wish; so never mind those nasty Welshies’.

              •  

                It’s amazing what you find when you start looking. After dropping out after leaving University, Simon and Jasmine Dale, (like all the others of a like mind, that have flocked to Pembrokeshire, over the years) have had ample time on their hands to write reams of waffle, theses after theses to the local planning and Government bodies, pressurising them to change the planning laws, then demanding a full or partial re regulation of the laws that were set up to accommodate them, these included health and safety considerations including, would you believe, fire hazards and early smoke detection!

                This is Simon Dale’s words from this particular piece of waffle/ thesis:

                (http://www.simondale.net/house/Building_Regulations_and_LID.pdf

                He discusses the Building Control Surveyors “lack of flexibility” over fire safety!

                “He told us that it was not possible for him to be more flexible about amongst other things, the need for mains operated smoke detection and mechanical (electrical) extract ventilation”

                The sheer arrogance of it, by his own admission, they were in multiple breaches of Pembrokeshire County Council, building regulations and were “facing the Magistrates Court”, and this is in 2011, when Low impact dwellings have already been given the go ahead, with major concessions.

                They really are insufferable, wasting the time and limited funds of Pembrokeshire County Council, burning down two houses adding massively to the carbon footprint of the environment they claim to care so much about, most of them will need cars for transport because of where they live, they will need to use all the Services, Schools, Hospitals, Police and the Fire Brigade!! They burn fires and chop down mature trees, apparently, when he looks at each of the many beams he is reminded of all the individual trees he cut down, how environmentally conscious! It’s a sick joke, that many people living in Pembrokeshire, have a far smaller Carbon footprint than they have and yet they have the arrogance to lecture and preach to us about the environment and Sustainability!!!

                Pembrokeshire County Council should be building affordable, Eco houses with in communities, that are not sold as holiday homes, but to the people who work and live in the area. LID’s should only be offered as an option for people from Pembrokeshire, If Lammas and others in the movement are so worried about the environment they should be pushing for change in their native England, where it’s desperately needed, perhaps then they could have used their Degrees positively.

                •  

                  That’s why I describe them as charlatans.

                •  

                  A fascinating speed read but one guaranteed to raise the blood pressure. You’d swear he was the only one who ever had to comply with planning and building regulations. You are quite right, it is a sick joke. Sustainable development? Pull the other one. Bloody con trick.

                  •  

                    Having satisfied the sustainability criteria of One Planet it is time for Tao and Hoppi et al to build a big temple or Earth Centre as they call it.

                    Lammas Earth Centre Evolving 🙂

                    Posted by Hoppi Wimbush on Friday, October 13, 2017

                    I can’t wait for them to finish this folly and feel the surge of cosmic energy channelled across the universe and into Pembrokeshire.

                    Maybe it will have an altar in the middle to sacrifice any planners who object.

                    •  

                      I note the scaffolding erected Andy. I wonder if this is a notifiable project under the Construction [Design & Management] Regulations 2015 with a requirement to register the project with the Health & Safety Executive.

                    •  

                      And many more trees felled. But of course it’s OK when they do it. If it was anybody else they’d be protesting. Hypocrites!

                    •  

                      Unbelievable! I grew out of making dens when I discovered girls were more fun. I should have stuck at it!

                    •  

                      Thanks, Andy. Is it finished do you know? Be interesting to see the planning application and building regulations. I hope they won’t be inviting the public into this building for any courses unless it’s all properly signed off, and it has fire protection measures incorporated. Public liability insurance? I doubt they bovver.

                    •  

                      The video of Lammas Earth Centre was taken in October 2017. I noticed the structure on a photo on one of the Lammas Facebook pages published a few days ago and my curiosity led me to the video.

                      The photo shows that some roof beams have been added to a central apex and the scaffolding has been removed.

                      I have made enquiries with Pembrokeshire County Council regarding their knowledge and legitimacy of this so called temple.

                    •  

                      Probably yet another job for their Enforcement Team, reports to write up, site inspections for officers and councillors FFS!

    •  

      Yes Andy, I think what you say neatly sums it up, best of luck with the 80s, eco, glitter ball application!!

      “This leads me to believe that this is all about aspiration and not eco living e.g. my teepee is too small so I need a Hobbit House; my Hobbit House is too small I need a half a million pound 3 bed spread in a National Park, no less.”

  9.  

    Fire needs three things. (a) Oxygen. (b) Heat. (c) Fuel.
    Take any one of these three away and you have no fire.

    Whilst straw bails contain ample fuel, it will only burn when heated to the point of ignition, the cellulose fibres will liberate methane when heat is applied, but the key to the ‘fire safety’ of straw bale walls is the fact the structure is encased in plaster or clay, it forms an hermetic seal, preventing oxygen from the air getting at the straw.

    There are scientific studies that show this, the best example is here..

    The construction under test in this example is fire proof up to the German and by definition, EU, fire standards. Straw bale walls ore often used as pre-fab sections of wall in modern German eco-housing.

    It is assembled off-site in a factory to strict quality standards, and as in this example there are three important features (a) the load upon the bales is constant as it’s a frame takes the building weight so there is no uneven load on the wall so no internal air pockets can develop, the frame is compressed in the factory in controlled conditions, (b) a wire mesh made of stainless steel encases the bales so heat is rapidly dispersed avoiding hotspots, (c) the rendering used is high quality cement based mortar applied to a defined depth and consistency. If these standards apply, the wall reaches the same fire proof standards as that required for standard timber and plasterboard construction for internal walls, and by definition, suitable for external walls if clad in stone or inert fibreboard.

    Trouble with the eco-buildings at Lamas and other locations in Wales is that in order to reach ‘OnePlanet’ standards the construction is not pre-fab in a factory to controlled quality, do not have the stainless steel mesh, and the cement mortar cladding is substituted with wattle and dawb (manure and clay) applied by on-site volunteers, which is evidently sub-standard.

    OnePlanet are deliberately falsifying fire safety claims of their constructions claiming they are ‘fire safe’ when in fact they are not. They are using tests, like the one in the above video, on constructions that are clearly considerably different from those OnePlanet utilise and in doing so live are being put at risk. It is for this reason I believe it would be criminally negligent if the Mid and West Wales Fire Service not to request a public enquiry into the Lammas fire, and immediately inspect all such constructions within their geographical footprint.

    When Coed Tal-y-Lan was renamed Red Pig Farm, perhaps they should have considered the name Grenfell Farm?

  10.  

    Yes, Brychan – I doubt the Lammas builds have used the modern, factory constructed and approved straw panels adopted in these houses in Bristol.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bbc-showcases-innovative-straw-house-development-in-bristol

    “Building regulations set minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings”. They did not come about as a means of picking the pocket of builders or developers. They can be a pain but they are there for a good reason. One criticism I have of the system is that it can seem too rigid and prescriptive. Need to meet a certain U-value? Then use X millimetres of product Y. But there are nearly always many more ways of skinning the cat. However it’s not for the Council’s Building Inspectors to specify the alternatives. That’s a matter for the developer. So if you are building something non-conventional, as at Lammas, then the onus is on you to satisfy the Inspectors. If you can’t, then maybe you shouldn’t be building it in the first place. There definitely seems to be issues with these eco-builds on the matter of fire safety and I endorse Brychan’s remarks about the Fire Authorities taking a closer look. Let’s not forget as well that these people are running small scale businesses as well where the public are invited onto the place, kids included. Public safety needs to take priority over the drop-out, bugger off and leave us alone, mentality of the people living there.

    •  

      Copy of my note to Welsh Government below sent 7 January. Awaiting reply,

      To: Welsh Government – First Minister – Carwyn Jones AM

      Your attention is drawn to a fire that destroyed an “eco dwelling” in West Wales 1 January 2018. Additional information is available at the following link.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/grand-designs-cheapest-ever-house-burns-ground/

      This follows previous fires in buildings of similar construction. Can you please arrange for your officials to urgently review regulation and guidance issued to local authorities that has allowed these dwellings to be occupied without the necessary “completion certificate” under Building Regulations 2010 being issued by the Local Authority or Approved Inspector. Urgent action is considered necessary to mitigate risk of future harm to the occupants of these dwellings in Wales.

      I would be grateful if you could provide me with a target timeframe for your review. Please keep National Assembly “Climate Change Environmental and Rural Affairs Committee” [C C E R A C] informed on your proposed action.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      •  

        Classy. Just the sort of notes a President should send to his Chief Minister ! Career change beckons.

      •  

        Nice one, Wynne.

      •  

        Well done, Wynne although I imagine Carwyn has other things on his mind now that he is suddenly a friend of the Swansea lagoon. I thought he was saving his (our) money for the M4 scheme. My guess is he knows for sure the lagoon will be formally turned down soon hence going public in this (late) way. He can then say he did his best.

        •  

          How could you ascribe cynical motives to our Glorious Leader! For shame!

        •  

          Nasty slur on the integrity of our CJ ! Just watched Mad Maggie May plodding her way through a Party Political broadcast a few minutes ago and I’m left absolutely flabbergasted that our “Welsh” politicians can’t even organise a half decent attack on this weird woman’s bullshit. She spews out the usual bland mix of creepy platitudes and downright untruths with backing music to liven it all up. What a fuckin’ witch. In response we’ll get a dollop of lukewarm air from CJ and a regurgitated mantra from dear old Leanne.

          On second thoughts Coch y bonddu, you were very easy on CJ. You could have gone further and charged him with hypocrisy and being a totally useless Vanker .

          •  

            I don’t like to kick a dog too hard when it’s down.

          •  

            She spews out the usual bland mix of creepy platitudes and downright untruths’.

            They can’t say or do much about it Dafis because that’s what they all do. I really don’t understand the point of Party Political Broadcasts any more because everyone knows it’s all BS.

            •  

              I think you are mostly correct John. But it might still probably be preferable to a dictatorship……just.

            •  

              Correct John. However it need not be like that.

              Today politicians make lucrative careers out of being … politicians. They are trained, groomed and set loose on a largely indifferent public who seem to expect a “class act” .. like with Cameron, a classic example of the kind, possibly more so than the “intensely driven” Blair, yet both proven to be more “crass” than class.

              Commenters on the odious Guido site often refer to an Oxford PPE as a toff’s media studies degree and there is much truth in that. The capacity for waffle seems to grow with each new regime which is really the evidence of complete and utter detachment which now exists. The Bay Set is a minor partner in all this but it too harbours the same delusional view – they know better than us, so what they do is innately good for us.

              We have to find ways of breaking that mould.

  11.  

    The fable of Y tri mochyn Bach comes to mind. We have all been warned about straw houses.
    Is the electrician friend that gave the guilty junction box the ok liable and is it his/her insurance that should pay the half a million to rebuild?
    Pont y gavel was once one of the most productive farms in the area. At the press some buttons the turbine powered the parlour and fed all the cows. Now look at it, a few vegetables and willow sculptures!
    The valley is filling with One Planet developments. I can count 8 at a glance (not counting Lammas) but probably there is more planned and to the best of my knowledge only one couple are Welsh from Cardiff
    Fragmented holdings sold by locals at prices that are too attractive to turn down.
    Where will it end?

  12.  

    The name “Lammas” it self derives from the Anglo Saxon for “Loaf Mass” which is a festival held between the beginning of August and September, to celebrate the annual wheat harvest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas
    Why have they chosen an Anglo Saxon name, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to call themselves the equivalent in Cymraeg, “Calan Awst”, particularly considering where they have chosen to live?

    This article has a very revealing take on those living at Lammas,

    “Talking to Ayres I got the impression that Lammas lacked a social infrastructure, the glue that keeps the community together and as such splits have formed within the community. In fact Lammas seems to operate as a disparate group of families stuck in a nuclear existence, perhaps making living off the land less efficient.”

    https://unofficialculture.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/the-vernacular-lammas-eco-village/

    It can’t be easy living under such public scrutiny, journalists are analysing how they are getting on, or not getting on, Grand designs dropping in, all a bit reality TV. All potentially challenging, when the residents have already tried to isolate themselves from the rest of Society in Wales, only to find themselves potentially isolating themselves from each other.

  13.  

    Cracking selection of tweets on there today Jac. They do a first class job of reflecting the seriously mad world we live in .

    Tom Hanks et al – Much as I can’t buy into the Trump world view I remain totally pissed off by the wishy washy rumblings from assorted luvvies who sucked up to the likes of Weinstein for decades before finally getting round to complaining about having to suck his cock to get a job with all those big bucks attached. Now Hanks pipes up with his “Oprah for Pres” moment ! Well that prospect is even dafter than the Trump or Clinton choice. When will these people realise that actors are trained to act out roles, without necessarily having anything remotely like the capacity to discharge any part of any particular role in real life. Ronald Reagan was not a good actor which is probably why the old boy did better than expected in the real life role.
    Reading the link on bullying. It now seems that abuse of staff by managers is a widespread characteristic of our Welsh Government, its major operational functions/departments, and the much vaunted third sector/ charitable bodies that deliver so much good(?) to our communities. Given that this continues to escalate it may reach a point where the Carl Sargeant episode will only form a small component of the much bigger picture that must be confronted despite CJ’s best efforts to tuck it under the carpet.
    Good luck to citizens of Llambed in their efforts to prevent artificial inflation of their dope addled population by growth addled Housing Association. The cnuts running this organisation live in the big city which may now be harbouring ideas about gentrification along lines already implemented in parts of England. Thus it suits their grand design, funded by ruling Labour schemers, to move their problem people to the West where they will be neatly out of sight. I used to think that Cardiff had a demi-monde of slimy bastards creeping around under the surface. By now that demi-monde has taken over and leaves little or no integrity in the running of the city and our nation.

  14.  

    Whereas the Lammasites (rhymes with the P-word) cause huge problems for Planning and Building Control, I’m wondering if the Electoral Officer has had any issues. It would be fascinating to learn how many over 18’s are registered. I bet none pay income tax or NI, pay a nominal council tax, yet all prepared to use services like education for their kids (do they get free bus travel in Pembroke?), fire service (getting their money’s worth), Plod, NHS etc. BIG mistake that TAN6. We are going to see the repercussions for many a year. Does anyone seriously believe that these will be temporary developments? A few years’ time and they’ll be applying to vary the planning consent (or more likely go right ahead), connect to the grid, and make the development permanent – and exceedingly more valuable, a little pension pot since the buggers haven’t been paying in.

    •  

      There was a time when colonists setting up new settlements at odds with the surrounding culture, customs, way of life etc would attract a short sharp response from the indigenous peoples. Although not particularly long in duration the Comanche response to White settlers early in the life of the Texan republic made a lot of immigrants wonder whether they should pack up and move on. Now I’m not saying for a minute that an early 21st century response should replicate events of the mid 19th century but a more vigorous reminder of how things are supposed to be done and what is acceptable, or not, should be issued to our latest waves of colonists before the disease catches on and gets deep rooted.

    •  

      According to Paul “Tao” Wimbush in this article Stan, https://www.ribaj.com/culture/walk-on-the-wild-side

      “Residents have bought 999 year leaseholds from the Lammas organisation and are free to sell these on the open market when they leave.”

      999 years is a lot of time, in which to change the status of the land. Presumably this long leasehold means the land can be passed on to family members, so that wealth accumulation stays in the hands of those from England, that moved to Pembrokeshire, to get lucky. The speculating resident, can also sell the land on the open market and no doubt make a quick buck, as when the clarion call is fully sounded and all and sundry rush for the land grab, the prices will inevitably inflate. How very forward thinking of the Pembrokeshire Council and Welsh Government, or is that the plan, to keep house prices above the affordability of the people from Pembrokeshire, the people they are actually supposed to represent!

      •  

        That’s an interesting one. So presumably they pay a ground rent, probably peppercorn, to the Lammas organisation, who might even be some of the residents there? Proper little capitalist model developing there, what with the potential increase in value as demand escalates, as you pointed out. I thought I’d seen somewhere that the planning permissions were tied to the lifetime of the owner, or is that just the OPD guidance? But the fact is, this lot are there for good now, with lots more soon following them as a precedent in the future. We’ve only ourselves (or rather TAN6) to blame.

        These people aren’t dull though (well not all of them). They have already sussed out that the enforcement of planning and building regs is a huge problem for the authorities, not just from the point of view of resources – cost and manpower, but also from a legal point of view. They know the wheels turn exceedingly slowly, and often it’s a war of attrition rather than who is right or wrong. They won’t give a shit about the fact it’s other taxpayers are picking up the tab either. I reckon planning/building departments in other council areas are dreading the day these parasites move to within their own jurisdiction.

        •  

          Yes indeed. Lammas and OPDs in Wales are the “brain child” of Dr Larch Maxey, Paul “Tao” Winbush and Tony Wrench. The latter two are well known, especially for their vociferous campaigning against the planning laws, and for spending most of their lives dropping out, chopping down trees and building Eco houses. It is Dr Larch Maxey who is probably responsible for giving their project legitimacy with the Government . We have to thank Swansea University for offering Dr Maxey the research post, which probably led to him connecting with the other two freeloaders, errr Eco Warriors.

          All three men hail from England and Dr Maxey lives in Totnes, the spiritual home, along with Brighton of the middle class English, Eco Warrior, but instead of campaigning for changes to the planning laws in England, they began a focused campaign of attrition in Pembrokeshire against the Council, so that they and their friends, could no doubt have first grabs at the smallholdings that would be made available. Paul “Tao ” Winbush”, actually works with the OPD’s as an advisor and has written to Carwyn in an attempt to pressure the Government into forcing through applications that have been unanimously rejected, such as the one proposed by his mate, near St David’s, that was resoundingly rejected, twice! All very manipulative and nepotistic, straight out of the capitalist’s book. http://livinginthefuture.org/resources/Paul-Wimbush-One-Planet-Development-Letter-Welsh-Government-Planning-Inspectorate.pdf

          Of course, giving the go ahead for the right to build anywhere in the National Park is a disaster, not only will it destroy the natural beauty, but it will again allow, only the richest ones from England, to be able to afford these smallholdings. There is plenty of land outside the National park that could be used, but no it’s not really, just about the Eco project is it, it’s the view these completely indulged individuals want. Of course this is ironic, as they used the argument that over inflated average house prices in the UK, made it impossible for many people, to buy a home. http://www.lammasoffice.org.uk/news/2008/sept/index.htm
          Yet they haven’t given a second thought of the impact of this policy in Wales, as again more English people move to Wales to price out the Welsh and put yet more pressure on what makes Cymru unique, when you read around the subject, you realise that these pseudo intellectuals, haven’t given the Welsh a second thought and yet it is the “Welsh” Government that has been manipulated into letting the OPD’s happen. The question is, how were they able to manipulate their way way around the Pembrokshire Council and who in the Welsh Government voted for the OPD’s and TAN6?

          •  

            Astonishing research, Myfanwy. You’ve shed a whole lot more light on this for me. Is it too late to move the goalposts and get TAN6 altered or ripped up, do you think? And how would that happen? Because what we see here is the thin end of a bloody big wedge coming our way. If these freeloaders can get away with manipulating the system there’s a whole lot more coming soon, particularly as you can buy a Lammas type plot for probably less than Daddy’s BMW. They’ll be worse than fucking Japanese knotweed.

            •  

              The Government has got to re-think this policy and it’s impact on Wales, Stan. They should be offering OPD’s, only as an option, to those who have a clear connection to the area where they wish to create a smallholding. I was quite shocked at the level of manipulation that has been going on behind the scenes to make this planning law happen. The Fire at Lammas was always a disaster waiting to happen, because of the way those involved were trying to bully the Council into relaxing the planning codes, even trying to avoid the use of smoke detectors as mentioned before. In light of the recent fire, the Government needs to put an immediate hold on all OPD’s and rethink the TAN6 policy, before another disaster happens and the occupants are not so lucky! We should all be holding the Government to account!

          •  

            Hebron is the new front line
            5 properties I am aware of that have or will attempt to have One planet status are in Carmarthenshire.
            We are all fully aware of Carmarthenshire’s planning problems!!
            Despite local Objections to the Abbey Road Whitland encampment an appeal to Cardiff was successful. 4 more fragmented dwellings

            •  

              Di_enw, this is a disaster, the area around Hebron and Crymych as you well know, are the last few areas in Pembrokeshire, where you will actually hear Cymraeg. The wealthy OPD people will no doubt send their Children to the English medium, Steiner school. We need to stop the Government carrying on with this policy, as it will be a major factor in Pembrokeshire becoming totally anglicised.

              •  

                Yes Myfanwy, a disaster long in the making. The Nantycwm Steiner school cylch has contributed to the problem. Those looking for an alternative lifestyle and education for their children will be drawn to the area because of the school. Birds of a feather or flies to shit comes to mind.
                “Tao” was always referred “Paul Wimbush, Carpenter from Llanycefn” in the early correspondence about Lammas ,in the local press and I suggest that his choice of his then residence was the proximity to the school and I guess that he is not the only incomer to make that choice leading to the anglicisation of another Welsh speaking area
                When the children reach 14 or the money runs out or the penny drops for some reason they leave for the main stream without any Welsh medium education any there lies another issue.
                Maybe if the school closed the influx might slow.

  15.  

    Here’s a genuine clip from the BBC’s DIY SOS

    “DIY SOS: The Big Build

    If you’re a homeowner, or know of a homeowner, who’s had a change in circumstances that means you now require major building work to your property, then we may possibly be able to help.

    The winning team of Nick Knowles, Billy the Spark, Chris and Jules and Irish charmer Mark are all here to try to help and would love to hear from you.

    We’re not looking for projects that only involve painting and decorating a few rooms. In previous episodes we’ve built single and even double-storey extensions, we’ve installed wet rooms, stair lifts and completely renovated and redesigned homes from the garden to the loft”.

    Coming soon: Nick, Billy the Spark and team head to Little England where they help a family of homeless eco-hippies rebuild a house of straw tragically burned to the ground by a flying lantern.

  16.  

    Off Topic, but I am Curious.

    Have there been any developments regarding Cllr Louise Hughes and her anti-Welsh leaflets ?

    •  

      I had a phone call earlier this week from North Wales Police. The case is now with the Crown Prosecution Service, so we’re awaiting a decision as to whether they intend to prosecute. There are others in the frame by the officer I spoke with wouldn’t name him/them.

  17.  

    Just to add, this is the kind of language Dr Larch Maxey was using to put pressure on Pembrokeshire Council to change it’s planning laws.
    “Dr Larch Maxey, a Lammas organiser added ‘The planner’s report shows that there is a gulf as big as an iceberg between policy and practice. Science shows we have 100 months to stop climate chaos. Our planning system needs to wake up and help us meet humanity’s biggest challenge.’””

    This comment was published here http://www.lammasoffice.org.uk/news/2008/sept/index.htm in 2008, I’m not that great at maths, but even I can work out, that according to his scaremongering, we should be facing total Armageddon right about now! Of course a huge amount has to be done to stop climate change and pollution, but does he really think a few, mainly English, middle class eco survivalists are going to change the tide against ecological disaster and if so, why on earth isn’t he campaigning outside Westminster instead of Pembrokeshre County Council!

    Has he actually been to any of the rapidly developing Countries, such as India, Brazil and China, has he seen the level of pollution and experienced the rapid Industrialisation there, of these hugely populated Nations, does he really think a few Hippies campaigning in Haverfordwest, are really going to turn the tide and more to the point, how on earth did the Welsh Government fall for the same line?

  18.  

    At the risk of being accused of hysteria, I really think there’s enough evidence just on Jac’s blog to start kicking back against this con trick being perpetrated on our communities. I reckon hardly anyone would have been aware of TAN6 as it emerged with the exception of people with a vested interest. And now we know who they were. Precisely those that stood to benefit most from it. We can sit back and let the Devil deal Fate or try and organise some sort of case against what’s going on under our noses. I’m sure we’d have the sympathy of hard pressed officers of the councils who have to deal with this shite, plus I can’t see there’s any votes for public representatives who would support these things when the proper facts are laid out. So anyone up for it and how do we best organise? No good moaning 5 or 10 years down the road when every Authority is being overrun with hobbit houses and your planning and building officers are all off on the sick with stress. Ideas anyone?

    •  

      How about submitting various requests for information to Welsh Government under F O I Act. May help to focus their attention on policy.

    •  

      Yes Stan, We are finding out after the fact, that this has been mainly a back door policy, driven through by middle class English people and their cronies who have moved to Wales and would like to encourage more of their ilk to also move to Wales, to make themselves feel more at home. The whole “One Planet” agenda has been pushed through, without any thorough consultation with the Welsh public, the very people these policies are supposed to serve. Those who are aware, are those probably living in places like Islington, Brighton or Totnes, who think it’s all “a right on trend” thing to do and sod the Welsh. For instance, who is fully aware of this next “One Planet” onslaught? http://www.caloncymru.org/who-we-are.html

      , “Calon Cymru” Well they managed to repackage the title, so at least they are not using the Anglo Saxon “Lammas” but they haven’t bothered with a Welsh text and “the core team members” well they probably all emanate from outside Wales and are affiliated to English Universities etc. Of course David Thorpe appears (How on earth did he wangle his way into a position of power, writing Children’s Eco Armageddon books!) If this was a policy that didn’t encourage English people to move to Wales, it may offer a positive step forward, but we all know from experience, that the next load of colonialists will be around the next corner. Why can’t these “core team Members, sort out England’s appalling housing problems and Environmental issues as this is where the real problems lie, instead of trying to anglicise Wales!

      Why do the Welsh Government continually defer to the judgement of middle class English people and their cronies?. Where is the Welsh talent, why can’t We make the decisions our selves? Perhaps the Labour Government sense that their days are numbered, that people are waking up and realising that Labour serve Westminster and the dominant English Union, after all, the Scottish figured it out ? Jac could be right about the One Planet developments being a form of “Lebensraum”, that by encouraging the influx of English people, they displace Welsh people and the threat to Labour and the Union’s control over Wales. They have a short term memory and if people feel disenfranchised in this way, they are left with no alternative but desperate measures, Dafis’ Comanche approach, might already be in operation. I would be all for the new Party, but it has to also appeal to the disaffected Labour and Plaid voters who consider themselves on the left of the spectrum and most importantly it has to appeal to the young Welsh voter.

  19.  

    Thank you, Wynne and Myfanwy. Since I posted up my last contribution, I’ve thought more on it, and I’m glad Wynne is on the same wavelength as me. FoI’s are a means of asking for data, the right questions to formulate maybe the next step. Knowledge is power as they say. Whether the questions will be answered, who knows, but don’t ask, don’t get. The trouble is that these guys eat, sleep and dream OPD, it’s been their whole raison d’etre. And as Myfanwy has enlightened me – they have influential friends fighting their corner. It will likely take me a while as I’ve a bit on but if anything useful emerges I’ll report back through Jac. But why didn’t they attach some kind of local residency requirement to these OPDs? At least it might have helped stem the Anglo lebensraum.

    Calon Cymru has just spoiled my Sunday dinner, by the way. I was in enough of a wax as it was. Are there ANY people on it that were born here?

  20.  

    As if to highlight the exact problem under discussion, this wording from the website describes the reason why the Architect for “Calon Cymru”, Mark Maghorn, moved to Wales:

    “He moved to Wales in 2011, inspired by the Welsh Government’s stated objective of becoming a One Planet nation within a generation. He now has his own practice in Llandeilo, which specialises in rural sustainable design. As a director of CCN, he is working with colleagues to make this vision a reality in the Heart of Wales corridor and to inspire others to follow.”

    http://www.caloncymru.org/who-we-are.html

  21.  

    For more on the ‘political clout’ behind this policy, check out the blurb about Jane Davidson on the Trinity Saint David ‘university’ website

    •  

      Yes, she’s a very dangerous woman. Something else she did on leaving politics was to become president or something of the Ramblers’ Association, an organisation with which she was always involved. Her Labour colleagues knew so little about the countryside that they were happy to let her have free rein.

      But of course all she really cared about was making the Welsh countryside more accessible to the English middle class, to which she belonged. That this has now been taken up by Trinity St David’s only serves to remind us how divorced from Welsh interests our universities have become.

      While in the Assembly she ‘represented’ Pontypridd, a town of which she knew little and cared less. But if Labour’s donkey vote want to elect and others like her, then that’s up to them. Problem is, we all suffer.

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?