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Cujatar - won permission
Cujatar - won permission

If you want to go off the grid in the UK, Pembrokeshire is where its at. It now has recognised over 50 off-grid homes.

Officials around the country are doing everything to discourage individuals and groups from living simple, low-carbon, off-grid lives – in other words, despite all the talk about going green, anybody who actually wants to live a truly green life has to overcome many obstacles.

But Pembrokeshire may become the exception. A low-impact dwelling near Maenclochog, Pembrokeshire, Wales, has just  received retropective planning permission. This is the third such project in the county to be officially recognised. A small settlement on land at Brithdir Mawr, and the Lammas project, which intends to build at eco-village on the outskirts of the village of Glandwr have already been rubber stamped.

Following a public hearing in Maenclochog village hall, Antony Cutajar and Jenny Carr were recently awarded temporary retrospective planning permission for the low-impact dwelling built on their woodland holding, Coedwig Blaen Llwydiarth.

This brings the number of households benefiting from Pembrokeshire’s policy 52, and new directives from the Welsh Assembly, which allow sustainablity projects to build low-impact eco-homes under some circumstances in the open countryside, to 12.

The 88-acre mixed-woodland produces timber, pork and mushrooms which are sold locally. The project also has planning permission to erect a barn for the milling and storage of timber.

Antony said: “These advances in the planning system show that working in harmony with nature and improving the biodiversity of our landscape is becoming more widely recognised as having a value beyond pounds and pence.”

One of the conditions imposed by the Welsh Assembly planning inspectorate is that the project will run at least one educational event each year.

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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