Grounds for Hope - Ways to Live Legally on Cheap Land in the UK

Pete Cooper | Wednesday, 24th August 2011
Grounds for Hope is the result of years of research by Chrissie Sugden into the options for people wanting to live legally on land without formal planning permission.
Author: Chrissie Sugden
Publisher: Permanent Publications, eBook, 40pp
Publication year: 2011
RRP: £5.95

Being a UK resident with a long-term plan to self-build my next house in a completely sustainable way, I felt it somewhat serendipitous that a manuscript of planning permission research made its way to me. The regulations in the minefield that is planning permission in Great Britain are, frankly, eye watering in their complexity. After years of on-andoff research, I am still amazed with the apparent ease that local council planning permission dogma can send a positive, pragmatic person into a spiral of despair and inadequacy. I am pleased to report, however, that we don't need to feel quite so desperate or inadequate.

With Grounds for Hope, Chrissie Sugden has summarised years of research into an accessible and readily-digestible document that has real value for selfbuilders, sustainable prospectors and dreamers with future plans. Do you want to live in the rolling countryside hills on a smallholding? The idyllic, almost clichéd concept of a dwelling tucked neatly into its surroundings might be one step closer to becoming reality when you read Grounds for Hope.

I saved the best and worst part 'til last: planning regulations ebb and flow, regularly changing specification during the planning or building stages of a dwelling. It's irritating, sometimes infuriating, but

Chrissie has overcome this by providing information and pointing out resources to enable and empower the reader to stay in control. That's the crucial part: Chrissie isn't showing you all the answers to the thousand and one things that need to be done when planning a new dwelling, rather she's setting you up with the reinforcements that you'll be needing to get you through with your sanity intact. Recommended.

Pete Cooper, pete@permaculture.co.uk 

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