Category — LAND

Devon smallholders win right to build home
by AMY SUAREZ on MAY 14, 2014 - 3 Comments in EVENTS, LAND, OFF-GRID 101

Willand Devin couple win planning battle - go off-grid

They won their fight – you can too

A young family has won the right to live off the grid on their smallholding after a battle to get planning permission.

Dinah and Stig Mason were refused permission to build a house on the four-acre site in Willand, classified as open countryside.

Changes to planning laws mean the Masons can now convert an old barn on the site.

Mrs Mason said: “We’re ecstatic. We can finally live the life that we choose.”

We are going to have to spend a lot more money, but we have got our dream” (more…)

20 Acres but nowhere to live
by VEG-HEAD on MARCH 1, 2014 - 7 Comments in LAND

Living entirely on what they grow and rear

Rule 1: Don’t annoy the neiughbours

A British couple who spent five years building their home from scrap by hand have been ordered to tear it down by Torridge Council in Devon.

Matthew Lepley, 34, and Jules Smith, 54, left London five years ago after reading “How to Live Off-Grid” planning to build their dream house in the countryside.
They used railway sleepers, lorry tyres and scrap metal to build up the house, and used no power tools.
Their home has an outdoor compost toilet, no power or running water, and an underground pantry instead of a fridge. (more…)

Cheapest places to live in America
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 2 Comments in LAND

mapcheapConsider this: a T-bone steak from a Manhattan grocer averages $15.52. In Harlingen, Texas, the cheapest place to live in America, the same steak goes for $8.34.

If you are going off the grid, or even if you are already off the grid and wanting to trade down to somewhere more affordable – this article is for you.

There are numerous dimensions to measure cost of living, and most places that score low on some measures score high on others. The most obvious is property; more sophisticated is the ratio of earnings to property. Then there is the cost of a basket of household products

We followed the AARP (association of retired people) whose magazine based their list on the price of property, and the taxes levied on state benefits such as pension and social security: (more…)

Cheapest places to live in UK and London
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 0 Comments in LAND

Property price is usually the defining factor in UK cost of living. Belfast is probably the cheapest city in the UK. Here’s a link to start you off with.

If it was me, I’d be looking at a place that is a combination of lowest crime with lowest house prices. No good having cheap booze and then you’re in hospital the next day all screwed over or your place has been ransacked.

Other than that if price is the only consideration – areas in Lancashire are good.

Price range for cheap would be a terraced house or flat for around £10k – £30k. Exclude holiday homes or caravans (more…)

…. and some of the world’s cheapest places to live
by JULIETTE SMITH on FEBRUARY 2, 2014 - 4 Comments in LAND
Cheap and cheerful

Cheap and cheerful


Kiev, Ukraine

As Eastern Europe’s crucial center for industrial, educational, scientific and cultural development; Kiev boasts of a diverse means of economic sustenance since it doesn’t depend on just one industry. Although it is a middle income city and poverty is evident in other parts of the country; Kiev virtually has nonexistent slums which is pretty good for such an inexpensive place to live.

Bogota, Colombia

Bogotá is the most populous city in Colombia with 7.3m inhabitants as of 2010. Because of its numerous universities and libraries, Bogota became known as “The Athens of South America”. (more…)

Melody Key for sale
by SPY_VONDEGA on JANUARY 18, 2014 - 3 Comments in LAND

Private island for sale $7m

Worth $2m, not a penny more

Melody Key, a six-acre island in the Florida Keys with a large home, was pulled from the auction block recently and is subject to private negotiations, as its owners try to ramp the price.

Fisher Auction Company had announced a November auction for the island, attracting media attention around the world. Now the marketing strategy has moved on a stage. (more…)

Frank Lloyd Wright home thwarted in UK
by VEG-HEAD on DECEMBER 22, 2013 - 2 Comments in LAND

Frank Lloyd Wright design is rejected by Somerset councilPlans to create a low-lying zero-impact, off-grid villa 
originally designed for a Californian hillside amidst the rolling fields of Wraxall in South-West Britain have been given the boot by narrow-minded local politicians in North Somerset.

The property, designed by the late architect Frank Lloyd Wright, had been proposed for land at Tyntesfield Springs, Somerset.
However the planning application attracted opposition from Nimby neighbours. One online objector branded it an unwelcome ‘museum piece’, adding: ‘A design from the 1940s is not what a contemporary and innovative eco-friendly architect would propose.’

It has been proposed by Dr Hugh Pratt, a Wraxall and Failand parish councillor, who had obtained the rights to the design from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation after eight years of negotiation. (more…)

Cash crop funds lifestyle
by VEG-HEAD on DECEMBER 10, 2013 - 1 Comment in FOOD, LAND

Nick & Cynthia- Blueberry Heaven!

Nick & Cynthia – Save the Blueberry!

Food producers Cynthia Lim and Nick Bray have cracked the big problem – how do you go off the grid and still make a living in the real world? The couple moved to a 7 hectare property  outside Melbourne Australia 12 years ago.

Some might have considered turning land over to cannabis cultivation – but not in Australia where cops act more like the Secret Service. Their answer: growing and selling blueberries.

They started with about 200 plants in 2004, just in time for the ‘‘drought of the century’’. But that ordeal has served them well.

‘‘We just thought we would give it a go and then the drought came along,’’ Ms Lim said. (more…)

UK Judge: Green home design is secondary to planning rules
by AMY SUAREZ on NOVEMBER 28, 2013 - 3 Comments in LAND

Stephen Scrivens  CEO of Hydrotechnology and Technical LandscapesA green campaigner’s plans to develop eco-friendly houses powered only by the sun and wind have been thrown out by the High Court.

A judge rejected Stephen Scrivens’ latest bid for planning consent to create his blueprint for houses of the future.

Mr Scrivens’ plans to build a self-sufficient house at Longberry Farm, Bethersden, where he lives, had already been rejected by Ashford Borough Council and two government planning inspectors.

In a test case ruling, Mr Justice Collins said that, despite a European directive setting a target for all new homes to be “nearly zero-energy” by December 31, 2020, energy considerations did not constitute a “trump card” when it came to planning consent. (more…)

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