Nick Rosen | |

Barton St David, Plotgate farm aims to persuade locals
Amy & Dan – planning battle
As the nation’s housing crisis (also known as the nation’s house price bubble) intensifies, part of the solution is hiding in plain sight – cheap rural housing, on agricultural land, for people who are working that land. I wrote a story in The Guardian to bring them to public attention.

Tucked away down a farm track in Somerset is a project that could act as a catalyst for an era of low-cost, off-grid rural living across Britain.

A small group is aiming to join the population of Barton St David, a village of approximately 500 residents, 5 miles south-east of Glastonbury, with a pub, and a 12th Century church. Local residents are keen to make sure their new neighbours stick to the letter of the planning laws.

The off-gridders number roughly a dozen including teachers, smallholders, a former travelling salesman and an editor. They are looking for a few more members and are about to apply for planning permission for 8 live-work units in a field overlooking rolling English countryside.

Its not the first time environmentalists have got together to try to make this happen But unlike every attempt that has gone before the organisers are applying for planning permission first, rather than moving in and then battling the local council (and wary residents) from a position of moral inferiority.

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