Lammas eco-village

Lammas Hobbit House

The couple built the house without consent and have just obtained, with difficulty, retrospective permission, with their final appeal attempt having recently been approved by a Welsh Government planning inspector. Charlie’s work is acknowledged to be a beautiful example of a low impact building and has been described as the best example in the UK at present. A campaign on social media recruited 100,000 people to engage with the planning application and sign a petition to support it.


Megan and Charlie have demonstrated that their project meets the OPD criteria. At the hearing inspector Ms Sheffield said that if she allowed the appeal, there would be a number of conditions imposed. They included that the property should ‘remain in accordance with the design and management plan’ submitted to Pembrokeshire Council, annual figures will have to be submitted, as at Lammas, proving that income is being met by the land, and an agreement will ensure that the home is tied, in perpetuity, to agriculture and horticultural activity, and to the couple.


Two other developments in Glandwr, which proceeded via the official channels, have recently been granted planning consent under the One Planet Development Policy. The Smith family say their aim is ‘to create a fully off-grid smallholding using permaculture principals, clever design and minimal technology’. They want to show it is possible to use 1.88Gha or below of the earth’s resources and retain a reasonably civilised lifestyle in touch with modern technology. The activities on the 7.5 acre plot will fully sustain the family, both physically and financially, and support more people in the locality.


Lishman's roundhouse

There are a number of different approaches to Low Impact building which can be seen at Lammas. This is Nigel and Cassandra Lishman and their roundhouse.

Tao and Hoppi Wimbush's farmhouse

Lammas features some great and innovative low Impact buildings. This is the ‘farmyard’ house of Tao and Hoppi Wimbush.

Community conservatory

This is where the villagers meet for their regular gatherings.


The other smallholders, Tom Clare and Jacqui Banks, at nearby Pont-y-Gafel, say they aim to establish a five acre smallholding in compliance with the OPD guidelines, build a low impact house (to Passivhaus standards) with ancillary buildings and make the site their primary residence. A small horticultural business will be their primary occupation, comprising a specialist tree (and other plant) nursery, the production of fruit leather for local suppliers and other horticultural produce especially watercress and asparagus for the local market. As well as proving a growing success in terms of people and productivity, the other cause for celebration at Lammas has been the final signing off of the community hub by Building Regulations.


A community building or hub was originally part of the overarching Lammas plan, but rather unexpectedly in 2010 the group won a prize, which resulted in a £350,000 grant from DECC to build a centre for the research, education and promotion of low-impact development. The grant was part of a government initiative in which UK projects were rewarded for pioneering carbon-reduction approaches. Lammas scored highly because it was a carbon positive community – with all buildings zero carbon in both construction and use, energy produced on site by a hydro system, plus other microgeneration, and with travel restrictions in place.

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