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ruralist
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Discussion Starter #1
Actually it's not a new story, but updated for their legal victory. It's good news for self-sufficient minded folk in the UK. And good news for everyone that even in a small developed country like Wales they remained undiscovered for years.

For five happy years they enjoyed simple lives in their straw and mud huts.
Generating their own power and growing their own food, they strived for self-sufficiency and thrived in homes that looked more suited to the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings.
Then a survey plane chanced upon the 'lost tribe'... and they were plunged into a decade-long battle with officialdom.

Yesterday that fight, backed by more modern support for green issues, ended in victory.
The eco-community in the Preseli mountains of west Wales was set up in 1993 and lived contentedly away from the rat race round a 180-acre farm bought by Julian and Emma Orbach.
In 1998, it was spotted when sunlight was seen glinting off a solar panel on the main building, which was built from straw bales, timber and recycled glass.
When the pilot reported back, officials were unable to find any records, let alone planning permission, for the mystery hillside village surrounded by trees and bushes.

They insisted the grass-covered buildings should be demolished.
The eco-community endured a decade of inquiries, court cases and planning hearings.
The 22 villagers fought planners even when they were within hours of the bulldozers moving in to demolish their eight homes.
Now, however, they can celebrate, thanks to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's 'sustainability' policy.
With green issues now getting a more sympathetic hearing, the commune has been given planning approval for its roundhouses along with lavatories, agricultural buildings and workshops.
Community founder Emma Orbach, a 52-year-old mother of three, said yesterday: 'We are really excited and happy as it has been a very long battle.
'Even when planning inquiries and court hearings went against us we were determined to fight on.
'The villagers are pioneering a new lifestyle and are determined to prove it's possible for people to live more simply.'
Tony Wrench, 62, who lives in the original roundhouse with his partner Jane, said: 'We are very relieved and delighted.
'We have been able to prove to the planners that it is possible to have a sustainable and low-impact community in the countryside.

'We had to prove we were improving the biodiversity of the area and conserving the woodland and we did that. It's great that our efforts to build a community using renewable resources have now been supported by the planners.
'The planners have worked miracles in making a new policy which enables communities which are self sufficient to exist.'
Amid the celebrations over the victory, however, it seems that life away from the rat race has not run entirely smoothly for the pioneers of simple living.
The two founders, architectural historian Julian Orbach, 55, and his wife Emma are divorced, and the commune has been split into three entities.

The original 180-acre farm was divided up into the area around the farm, a section around the original roundhouse known as Tir Ysbrydol (Spirit Land) where Mrs Orbach lives, and 80 acres of pasture and woodland run by a community known as Brithdir Mawr.
Each community is independent and they co-exist as neighbours in a more traditional style.
Brithdir Mawr continues to support sustainable living based around the original farmhouse, with eight adults and four children sharing communal meals, looking after goats, horses and chickens - and also holding down part-time jobs to raise the £200 per month rent they each pay Mr Orbach, who lives in a house in nearby Newport.
The current residents now run businesses such as courses in furniture making and sustainable living for around £95 a head.
On their website they explain: 'We are eight big people and four little ones who choose to live here: working, eating, meeting and laughing together. Being a community is a large part of what we do. To sum up the rest; we are striving towards a life in which our footprints are as light as they can be.'
One resident, Ben Gabel, 38, who runs a seed business with his partner Kate, said: 'It is completely different to what it was. Most people would consider the set-up quite normal.
'The kids watch DVDs and we run a business from the farm.'
Source
 

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I remember seeing videos and reading about them.
They were hardly secretive about it.
As a matter of fact they went to the local building inspector and went thru the local govt to get all kinds of regulations changed and proven that their buildings would be safe, eco friendly, habitable and more. They went well beyond the call of duty to make everything kosher with the local govt officials.

I say good for them live lite on the Earth.

They fought long and hard and almost didnt get approval. BUT in the end they finally prevailed.
 

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ruralist
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I remember seeing videos and reading about them.
They were hardly secretive about it.
For five happy years they enjoyed simple lives in their straw and mud huts.
Generating their own power and growing their own food, they strived for self-sufficiency and thrived in homes that looked more suited to the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings.
Then a survey plane chanced upon the 'lost tribe'... and they were plunged into a decade-long battle with officialdom.
I imagine the article you refer to was during the last ten years, during the legal battle which ensued the finding of this hidden village. Actually read this article, then search out the story you speak of, which I never heard of when I caught the story on local news (living on the border at the time). They did not get approval for any such planning regulations but still went ahead and got away with it for five years. That's secretive to me :rolleyes:

As a matter of fact they went to the local building inspector and went thru the local govt to get all kinds of regulations changed and proven that their buildings would be safe, eco friendly, habitable and more. They went well beyond the call of duty to make everything kosher with the local govt officials.

I say good for them live lite on the Earth.

They fought long and hard and almost didnt get approval. BUT in the end they finally prevailed.
When the pilot reported back, officials were unable to find any records, let alone planning permission, for the mystery hillside village surrounded by trees and bushes.
..
The eco-community endured a decade of inquiries, court cases and planning hearings.
The sequence of events is thus; Village founded in secrecy as planning was unobtainable - discovery - massive legal battle which you speak of - rightful victory.
 

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ruralist
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Discussion Starter #9
Now this is an neet roof , wheres the support ??? I like it .
These traditional designs are self supporting. The most topheavy point of any construction is the centre of the roof. That's one reason why there are modern domes and slanted rooves, aside from water run off. This construction doesn't even have a centre of the roof and the walls of trees interlock which increases the holding friction. Having a hole in the roof also means it's safe to have a small fire couldren, for heating or cooking, when a smoke funnel is erected. Only downside to this roof would be rain coming through, but one could cover that with plastic sheeting or perhaps even funnel the rain down to a collector. Fab design :thumb:
 

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I love this *****
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What a dream come true. I'd live that lifestyle in a heartbeat if I had the money to buy the land and build the house.
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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Now this is an neet roof , wheres the support ??? I like it .

It is a traditional yurt style roof relying on the collateral strength of the overlapping members, held isometrically by the top band of the round wall, which has a collaring effect of tying the roof from spread. It is a traditional "rafter" loading, in the sense that the roof structural members are in compression at one end, and tension at the other, while the collar band is highly tensioned as the roof spreads the vertical load horizontally against the cylindrical walls.
 

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If we don't watch it our government will come in the same way and try to place us in different areas like theirs did.
 
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