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Allow ecological dwellings on rural land.

Comment 1st July 2010

Land owners should be allowed to build dwellings to encourage ecological, small-scale agricultural businesses.

I've known various projects over the years that have either failed, or been made significantly harder, because local planners will not allow dwellings to be constructed. This is despite plans being drawn up that show that the dwelling will be a) very small b) ecologically sound and c) all but invisible. At the same time, planners allow vast steel and corrugated iron hay and cattle sheds to be put up without a second thought.

I think if owners can prove that their dwelling will a) be built in an ecologically sound manner (for example following BREAMM specifications b) have minimal visual impact and c) not degrade the land, thentbhe default position of councils should be to allow them.

Why does this matter?

The shift to intensive agriculture has led to significant loss of biodiversity and green spaces in the countryside over the years. To encourage people to get back into the countryside, cultural shifts are needed which allow and encourage small-scale community developments. Smallholdings need to be brought back into the mainstream so as to encourage diversification in agriculture and stronger communities in the countryside.

This will reduce the ecological strain associated with cities, while also encouraging a more self-sufficient nation.

The main thing to be careful of though, is that this DOESN'T encourage large-scale developments in the countryside.

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