The village that took on the planning system - and won
Last week, a remarkable film sold out in all theatres in which it premiered, and I was lucky enough to get a ticket.
It tells the story of a five-year battle by ordinary people fed up with not having access to housing that they could afford, who wanted to build affordable, ecologically-sound housing for themselves on land which they owned.
The story began when nine families occupying 35 acres of land in South Wales innocently submitted boxes of detailed architectural designs and plans to their local council, seeking approval, which was initially met with hostility. The leader of the council is filmed saying: “Not now, not ever. Never!” as he rejected their application.
Their battle eventually succeeded, and resulted not only in a change in planning policy in that council, which has been adopted throughout Wales, thanks to the support of Wales’ former Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, but a campaign to change the Building Regulations themselves, which, at present, are totally unfit for the purpose of enabling this type of architecture.
The film is Living In The Future.