Welsh planners’ double standards

Yes, we wall want the credit!
Yes, we wall want the credit!
The Welsh institute of town planners has awarded its top prize to a newly built off-grid home. Meanwhile Welsh planners decline applications from hundreds of off-grid projects every year.

the house at Maes Yr Onn’s has won the 2013 Wales Planning Award organised by RTPI Cymru. Chris Fray, chair of the judging panel, said: “Maes yr Onn Farm Off-Grid Living is already being hailed as an exemplar of sustainable building excellence.”

The new home of farmer Arthur Davies and his family is self sufficient, sustainable and completely off the grid.

In June, Minister for Natural Resources and Food Alun Davies joined Mr Davies, the Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough and guests for an official event marking the building’s completion. They were all delighted to be seen burnishing their green credentials before going home in their gas guzzlers to ignore the environment again.

Mr Davies thanked everyone involved in the project and said: “I am so grateful to the whole project team who have taken our dream of living at the farm and transformed it into reality.

The Minister said: “I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the launch of such an exciting and innovative project. “At a time when household incomes are being squeezed and the cost of energy continues to rise, it is good to see an increase in the uptake of renewable technologies here in Wales. I congratulate the Davies family, Caerphilly County Borough Council and all the other partners involved in building such an exemplary sustainable building that shows exactly what can be achieved through working in partnership.”

Cllr Ken James, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development, said: “It was back in 2011 that the family gained outline planning permission to build this fantastic farmhouse.

“After facing the many challenges of building in a location with no access to mains electricity, gas, water or sewerage services I am thrilled that the family are now settled into their fabulous new home.”

Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Rural Development Programme’s Sustainable Development Team helped Mr Davies achieve his dream by developing partnerships with various organisations.

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