Introducing top planning and environmental lawyer Tim Driver of UK law firm Berryman……
Tim will be advising off-grid readers IN THE UK ONLY, on how to gain planning permission for their off-grid homes (any lawyers in the United States interested in helping off-gridders fight their way through the system, please feel free to contact us).
Planning permission, the right to live on or use a particular piece of land, is the main obstacle to off-gridders in the UK.
Trouble with the local council planning officers? Or the neighbours? Or building control? If you need help carving out your little piece of off-grid heaven, write to MANWITHPLAN@OFF-GRID.NET with questions or requests for advice .
In many US States and parts of Europe there is little to stop someone buying a tract of land, then building a shelter and putting up solar panels or wind turbines.
But the whole of the UK is governed by very strict rules, so even if you own it, you cannot just do what you want on your land.
The rules are needed to prevent the concreting over of the countryside, but they also prevent honest, hard-working people in country and the city from carrying on an ecologically valuable lifestyle.
And the planning system discriminates against people with little or no money, who just want to live somewhere with dignity and perhaps grow a few vegetables. Many countryside campaigners agree that local and national policies ought to be encouraging low-density off-grid dwelling, but the planning restrictions tend to squeeze out those on low incomes who want to be self-sufficientish.
The column will appear regularly when there are questions to answer or to let you know the latest news about important changes in planning law and policies.
Remember, if you are having legal problems living of-grid, write to MANWITHPLAN@OFF-GRID.NET with questions or requests for advice
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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