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Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

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So, is the council right? Are there sound reasons to evict the Masons?

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Total Votes : 16

default Latest news on this family's situation rom thisisdevon

Post by ThisisDevon on 12th July 2011, 12:34 pm

Hello

Just thought you might all be interested in the latest story regarding the Mason family.

Here is the link: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Many thanks for all your comments and support.

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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Adrian on 12th July 2011, 1:25 pm

Thank you This Is Devon - nice to have you on the Forum.

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If you feel strongly about this issue and wish to support Dinah and Stig further, please consider contacting the following in their support

Councillor Peter Hare-Scott (Conservative) - Newbrooke Ward, Leader of the Council
email: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Mid Devon Planning website and email
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Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton
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Adrian
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Adrian on 12th July 2011, 11:17 pm

I want to point out that because Stig and Dinah have an asset (their land) they are not eligible for social housing, so they are currently homeless and living in a tent thanks to planning laws aimed at protecting their land from them...


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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 13th July 2011, 12:05 am

Well observed, Badger. Is it not possible that we need a bit of joined up thinking from the authorities?
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2011, 9:43 am

I have already said that I have some sympathy for them, but they did have a significant chunk of money, and used it to buy land that they knew, or should have known, that they would not be allowed to live on, instead of setting themselves up with a home. I appreciate that this was probably a knowing challenge to current planning rules.

It is important to remember when refering to "my land" and "their land" that we are all only transient and the land will, in days to come, belong to many people, and that hardly any land once developed has ever been returned to open countryside. So indvidual circumstances should not affect planning decisions.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 13th July 2011, 11:19 am

Some good points have been made here.

However, I was just glancing through John Seymour's Complete Book of Self Sufficiency, and I note that he states that a five acre holding can provide a living for a family of six with occasional surpluses. But this is a family of four on four acres. Stig could have quite a nice little surplus to sell and this money might be used towards renting a cheap property, e.g. a flat. It is not ideal, but it is one hell of lot better than a tent, especially when winter approaches. If the lorry is going nowhere, sell it for scrap and get a bit more cash in. I want Stig and Dinah to succeed, and for them to do it there must be a good, hard headed dose of economic reality.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Hairyloon on 14th July 2011, 11:53 am

Chilli-head wrote:It is important to remember when refering to "my land" and "their land" that we are all only transient...
In the UK, nobody actually owns land except the queen. "Landowners" just hold the title to look after it for her.

Bet that is something that they haven't tried: a nice letter to Her Majesty...
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 14th July 2011, 12:08 pm

frankbeswick wrote:
However, I was just glancing through John Seymour's Complete Book of Self Sufficiency, and I note that he states that a five acre holding can provide a living for a family of six with occasional surpluses.

John Seymour spent very little of his life being self sufficient however. Not only was it his various wives who did the actual work on the farms , but he gained most of his income from his writing and broadcasting. I think you would have great difficulty achieving self-sufficiency for a family on five acres. Five acres per head perhaps.

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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 14th July 2011, 12:20 pm

It depends upon your lifestyle. I have a standard allotment, which is about one twelfth of an acre, and I get a substantial element of my fruit and veg from it. Obviously some stuff is bought in. Dinah and Stig have four times twelve=48 times what I have. They can certainly get their veg,eggs and fruit from the plot, though some stuff like bananas they cannot grow. There are only the four of them.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Chilli-head on 14th July 2011, 12:41 pm

It also depends what you mean by self sufficient. If you mean in food, that is one thing. If you mean that you can provide everything you need either by producing it yourself or with money from selling surplus - heat, light, clothes, taxes etc - that is quite another.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 14th July 2011, 12:46 pm

But there is a world of difference between getting a substantial amount of one's fruit and veg and being self-sufficient. We get a substantial amount of our veg and fruit from our land and bottle and dehydrate a lot of it to see us through the winter months, but we still end up buying fresh stuff from October to March. We produce about 90% of the meat we eat, but have to buy in fodder for the animals - if we were to try to be completely self-sufficient we would need a lot more space to grow fodder crops. What about wheat and grains and so on? What about fuel? What about crop rotation and allowing land to recover?
Yes, you could farm very intensively - rear rabbits for meat in vertically stacked hutches for example or if you lived on potatoes like Irish peasants did in the past you could probably feed a family on an acre but to be properly self-sufficent in a long-term sustainable way I think you would need at least 20-30 acres for an average family.

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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Chilli-head on 14th July 2011, 1:06 pm

.... Which amounts to about ten times the available land for the UK population. Oh dear.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 14th July 2011, 1:17 pm

It is hard to say exactly what you need. My wife's grandfather in County Mayo, Ireland, had eight acres of medium quality land [later becoming ten] and kept a large family of eight children on it, but almost all emigrated in their middle to late teens, so on the whole there were not ten of them most of the time. According to my mother in law they did not go short of food on eight acres [in fact, she says that they ate well, and they were all sturdy], though the fare was limited mainly to what they could grow, plus tea and some other luxuries. Sometimes Irish families sent money back home to their relatives, so that complicates matters as to how much you need. There was a lot of make do and mending, and her grandfather made all their shoes. Much clothing was home made.


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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 15th July 2011, 3:08 pm

Did anyone see the article in the new edition of Permaculture about living on one's own land and how to get planning permnission. It is on page 35, but for some reason it is not listed in the table of contents at the beginning.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Adrian on 15th July 2011, 3:24 pm

MY copy won't be here for another few weeks yet Sad

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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by frankbeswick on 15th July 2011, 3:39 pm

To say that it is a really good Permaculture this edition is to state the obvious, as it is always a good magazine, but it is worth waiting for. As you live in Canada, Badger, the advice might not be applicable to you. It deals with the legalities of life in this overcrowded isle and how to deal with planning regulations.
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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Compostwoman on 15th July 2011, 3:47 pm

frankbeswick wrote:Did anyone see the article in the new edition of Permaculture about living on one's own land and how to get planning permnission. It is on page 35, but for some reason it is not listed in the table of contents at the beginning.

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default Re: Devon Family Living 'off Grid' and Facing Eviction!

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 16th July 2011, 10:26 am

Compostwoman wrote:
frankbeswick wrote:Did anyone see the article in the new edition of Permaculture about living on one's own land and how to get planning permnission. It is on page 35, but for some reason it is not listed in the table of contents at the beginning.

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Thanks CW, great link

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