Buying some land and living on it.

Anything to do with environmental building projects.
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
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Re: Buying some land and living on it.

Post: # 172254Post devolutionary »

How out of date am I? The last post was over a year ago... We had this idea three years ago, bought land in France, sold the house and moved here with what we thought was the mayor's permission - with eight yurt frames and big plans for a family friendly eco campsite. Ran into a sh1tstorm of bureaucracy which still hasn't gone away. Fortunately for us, there was an old utility building on some land neighbouring ours which we bought this summer (with money borrowed from a bank, dammit) and are sticking a bathroom on the side, so we can live next to it in our yurts. But the last meeting we had with the (new, improved, allegedly more supportive) mayor ended with her saying we can't live in our yurts for more than eight months of the year etc etc.

It's complicated. Things in France are. For more details if you're interested, I've blogged the whole Ms Adventure, which is linked in my signature below. I'm heartened by some of the posts here that talk about 10 or 20 years of battling with the planning authorities. We're two years into our fight on the ground here, so only 18 to go.

Maybe I should have asked this question myself three years ago. But then maybe I'd never have jumped ship and I'd now be jobless, living in negative equity and having a different fight altogether. The upshot is (today at least), we will be opening our campsite next year in some form - just not the uber-luxurious idea we first had; much more rustic, much more simple and a hellavalot more affordable. Like 350-500€ a week instead of (as I just discovered today from someone nearby with what we were going to do originally) 220€ a night.

We'll also be looking for people to come a run whatever courses they want on the self-sufficiency theme. Fencing, working horses, pigs, basketry, drystone walling, all that fun stuff. More on this on another thread. Thanks for posting this thread, yurty, very interesting reading...

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margo - newbie
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Re: Buying some land and living on it.

Post: # 176214Post Smokehouse »

Hi Yurty, I hope evreything got sorted out for you in the end. I went and stayed in a Yurt for a few days in May just gone. Speaking to the owner I realised that the yurt could not ne lived in all year round and the canvas would soon rot in our damp all year round weather conditions. He lives in a farnhouse and rents the yurts out for 8 months a year and then they are taken down and dried and reproofed. Yes it snows like mad in Mongolia but belive it or not it isn't damp. Most yurts are are used in "dry" southern European countries where the canvas does not rot and the synthetics do not take such a hammering with weather conditions.

Hope this helps, let us know how things are going.
I know I aint doing much....................
But.....doing nothing means a lot to me

A selfsufficientish Regular
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Re: Buying some land and living on it.

Post: # 176217Post grahamhobbs »

There are 'loopholes' regarding living on the land.

1. The 'correct' route, you can put up a temporary dwelling or a caravan on the land, but you have to show within 3 years that your smallholding is viable ie. that it produces the income of at least the minimum wage, that it is sustainable ie. that you have made sufficient investment into the land/animals etc to demonstrate that the operation will continue, and that there is a need to live on the land ie. there are animals that need your attention, generally taken as animals that can give birth at anytime (sheep don't).

Then you can apply to erect a permannent dwelling. The size of the house will be dependent on the size of the income you manage to generate (above the minimum salary level). The planners will also probably put restriction on the house in the form of an agricultural tie, ie. the house can only be lived in by someone who derives some income from the use of the land.

2. Bit more of a loophole, you can live on the land temporarily for 5 years if you are building a barn. It seems 'construction' workers can take 5 years to build a barn and have the right to live on site for all that time. I think you have to have at least 5 acres to build a barn. You have to apply for permission to build the barn, but it is pretty much a formality and has to be given in 28 days. The only problem is that planners prefer a god-awful modern corrugated steel job rather than a tasteful timber or brick one, just so you don't apply a few years later to convert it into a house.
I can't see why you can't keep applying to build more barns (they must be 90m apart, some beauracats rule!) whilst you continue to 'temporarily' live there. Although you might run into trouble, keep asking to build barns, but the same would be true of say polytunnels.

Mobile caravans count as temporary (and some these days can be well insulated and with all mod cons), as do timber chalet type constructions (the fancy things that people put up in their gardens as offices,etc).

I guess you can't go on for ever like this but it gives you more than 3 years in which to establish your business.
But that's the rub, making a smallholding financially viable is very hard work, probably requires quite a bit of capital investment and you will probably spend all your time being a salesperson chasing customers when you just wanted to be self-sufficient.

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Post: # 272965Post Fievel »

Muddypause wrote:
Personally, I'm coming round to the idea that getting a few like-minded people together, and combining resources is the only way forward in today's insane property world.
Hi, I am a researcher, 29 years old, who wants to live in harmony with nature and free from the slavery of currency and from the slavery that comes from living in a traditional home, which involves working half of your life just to have a shelter from rain.

I agree with Muddypause: only by combining resourcess it is possible, or at least way simpler, living in such a way.

I am looking for other like-minded people and highly motivated.

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Barbara Good
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Re: Buying some land and living on it.

Post: # 273009Post Bulworthyproject »

ina wrote:Heard this mentioned on the radio the other day - and it's looking very interesting and helpful, especially for those of us who are hoping to somehow have somewhere to live on the land one of the days!
Chapter 7 or The Land is Ours mentioned above are the people to refer to about planning for low-impact developments.

We live on our land on the basis of being charcoal-makers and have been granted permission to build a house.
The job the planners have is really difficult because if they just let anyone build a house anywhere, land prices would rise (certainly above a level that we could have afforded) and everyone with a pony paddock would build a holiday home on it.

There is no loophole. The forestry/agricultural dwelling rule is a route that involves a lot of hard work. As a result of taking this route we have a sustainable business and a place to live so we're not complaining.

The new planning law the National Plannning Policy Framework is based on sustainablity but does not define it. This leaves it upto those of us who believe in sustainability to define the meaning of the word before those who believe in profits at all cost do.

Bulworthy Project is an experiment in low-impact living and working

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