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Home Forums General Discussion Is there anyone here living off grid in the UK

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    Lily Rose


    We live in Rotherham and we have the land to build. We want to talk to someone who is living off grid now so that we don’t make a costly mistake or don’t take account of something at the right stage of building.

    We have already built a summer house out of railway sleepers. It is built on tyres. Timber frame with straw infil. There is no power in it. Scaling up to a house 12m by 16m using a 2m grid system internally is what we want to do. Single story, 3 composting toilets, rainwater harvesting and PV electricity generation with batteries and generater back up is the plan.

    All off gridders seem to be in the US. Have we got anybody in the UK we would talk to please.

    Thank you.

    Lily Rose


    Hi Lily Rose – make sure you post on Landbuddy – and say as much about yourself as possible. you can also search the masp to find other off-gridders near you. But be sure to click on your location when you first post so that others can find you

    By the way, you should read my book, how to live off grid, full of good ideas. And please write a diary for this web site , telling others of your experiences. That would attract some good local talent to help you I am sure. Sort of like Kevin McCloud without the budget and the TV cameras.

    Lily Rose


    Yes I have read your book. It has a campervan on the front. It was a journey for you. There are varring degrees of off grid but I think that more and more people want to go off grid.

    I have looked on landbuddy. I have also replied to one person who is having trouble with planning. My husband David is a planning consultant. Have a look at his website

    We think Kevin McCloud is playing at it.

    Lily Rose


    Hi Lily

    There’s as many ways of doing it as stars in the sky, well almost !

    I would look at what’s on site ? Could you use subsoil from site and make cob for walling !

    If you have no planning approval ? Everything must be capable of being moved ( doesn’t mean to say that you have to move it but it must be capable of it ! ) use skips or wheels.

    So what’s your situation ?

    My email is

    If you want some ideas etc plus what gets around planning ?

    All free !


    Hi Lily Rose. I live off-grid in the South-East of England. I’m not sure that I can help you much as I live alone in a small cabin and am not equipped to the degree that you are planning. However, if there’s anything that you would like to discuss I’m happy to do so.

    I posted my own thread about a month ago, describing my life called ‘Off-grid in the UK’ – It’s still there if you do a search as shown at the top of forums.



    Hi Lily Rose,

    My name is Emily and I work for an award winning television company in London. We’re currently developing a new programme for Channel 4 which looks at following people who are looking to move off-grid.

    Would it be possible for me to contact you so I can hear a little more about what you are planning to do?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    With best wishes,



    hi lily… i have been off grid now for some 15 yrs… i have been in the building trade for some 26yrs… well read and practical…. what is it you want to know?.. regards ian :)

    Lily Rose

    Hello Emily, sorry for late reply.

    David and I would be interested in finding out what Leopardfilms are expecting of a TV programme. Whilst we have the land which is part of our garden, nearly a half acre, we have not made any planning application or even approaches informally to the local planners. This is for a variety of personal reasons. We are however, just about to start. My husband is in fact a town planning consultant and former local government planner. We have not got an architect/designer although David knows dozens. There is not too much specialism about in designing Passivhouses and this is also our intention. Both David and I have set out to learn as much as we can about off grid living and powering it and we are appalled at many people we contact who set themselves up as experts. They appear to know less than we do and many do not seem to be living off grid.

    We have already built a summer house as an experiment for the passivhaus. We can supply details. It was built under the exemptions to control (General Permitted Development Order) as a garden building. Our house will be self build, not self contracting as many so-called self builders seem to be. We literally are going to do as much of the work as we can. Probably only the wiring, rainwater harvesting and plumbing will go out to someone else. David thinks the system does encourage a true self buider. It forces you to build in ways which are expensive and unimaginative as well as environmentally unfriendly.

    We are about to start on a journey in 2013 but it did seem to me our timescale may perhaps be longer than you have in mind. The offgrid will be complete. We have no grid water. grid sewage, grid gas etc. Ours will be the complete job. Rainwater harvesting and composting toilets, here we come. We actually have done a composting toilet experiment for a year. The garden loved it and it doesn’t produce as much poo and sawdust as you think. It rots down and thats why its called compost.

    We have a plan for a 4 bed house single story.

    Contact us if you are interested for more information.

    Lily Rose

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