Calls to halt further One Planet eco-developments in Wales backed
Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter
A call to temporarily halt any further One Planet eco-developments in Wales has been backed by senior councillors in Pembrokeshire.
One Planet Developments allow people to live off the land in the open countryside in a self-sufficient and eco-friendly way.
One Planet Developments must have an ecological footprint of no more than 2.4 hectares, with an aim to reduce that to 1.88 hectares.
They must also produce at least 30 per cent of their food on site, and have “zero carbon” homes.
A meeting of Pembrokeshire County council’s Cabinet considered a notice of motion by Tenby county councillor Micheal Williams calling for a Wales-wide moratorium on all such future developments yesterday (13 February).
Cllr Williams commended the ecological aspect of One Planet Developments but said the scheme was problematic on three points.
He said: “Many rural residents say the policy is being used as a way of overriding the Local Development Plan. This has resulted in considerable resentment by local people who find it difficult, if not impossible, to build a home for the younger generation on their land.”
He also said there was different planning criteria for a One Planet development and an ordinary rural enterprise development, and a lack of expertise in monitoring One Planet developments.
Cllr Williams, in his notice of motion, asked: “In view of the increased concern regarding the way in which this policy is being implemented, along with the cumulative impact of such developments, we call on the Welsh Government to review the policy and to consider a moratorium on OPD applications while such a review is held.”
Members were recommended to adopt Cllr Williams’ notice in part; to request that Welsh Government undertake a further and wider independent review of the One Planet Development policy, but not to back a unilateral moratorium call.
Cllr Jon Harvey, presenting Cllr Williams’ notice of motion to members, said 63 One Planet Development applications had been submitted across Wales to date, 19 of them in Pembrokeshire; of which nine were approved, eight refused, three allowed on appeal, and two withdrawn.
He proposed members write to Welsh Government calling for an independent review of the One Planet policy and call for suspension of the One Planet policy Wales-wide while it takes place.
He was seconded by Cllr Alec Cormack, who said there was a danger such applications could be viewed as a way of “working around” local council and national park planning policy.
Members unanimously agreed to support Cllr Harvey’s amendment.
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