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Low Impact Woodland Home

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I came across this website this morning and I am captivated. What a wonderful little house. http://www.simondale.net/house/

I think this is the approach the country needs to adopt. It would be much better to get people involved in building their own homes like the one on the website, rather than rely on builders to do the work for them.

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Very hobbit-like. Ok if you live or want to live in the country

I wonder if they owned the land it was built on, how much the land cost & if they required/obtained planning permission for their new home ?

See Lammas.org

Spoiler: 5 year planning battle, they each have to generate their income from the land. Ben Law (the grand designs guy) lived in a bender for 10 years before getting planning and only then on condition that only he could live in it.

If you want to something similar yourself check out Chapter 7's DIY planning book. If you're in Wales google 'planning TAN 6'

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I love this, beats a 3 bed slave box any day of the week.

Shame land costs so damn much....

Yeah, same old story. Cheap home scuppered by English planning & land cost.

"Hey look, I found this great cheap home! Oh wait, I have to pay how much for land with planning?!"

<_<

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Very hobbit-like. Ok if you live or want to live in the country

I wonder if they owned the land it was built on, how much the land cost & if they required/obtained planning permission for their new home ?

He clearly doesn't have planning permission, as it certainly doesn't comply with fire regs. Huge great wood-burning stove in the middle of unprotected wood construction, very, very dangerous.

Oddly enough building regs aren't simply a wicked plan by evil socialists to make houses expensive.

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Oddly enough building regs aren't simply a wicked plan by evil socialists to make houses expensive.

They are however a wicked plan by evil socialists to stop individuals building the home they want to build.

Building regulations, if needed, should be set by the insurance industry not the state.

.

Edited by the shaping machine

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If you are working the woodland - e.g. by coppicing it, bringing derelict woodland back into production, which also increases biodiversity if done properly, and protects several vulnerable species, such as dormice (coppiced woodland is very cheap because most is derelict and seen as being of low value by commercial foresters), you can get away with it a lot easier - you'd probably need about 20 acres - put water in, then a caravan. Make charcoal, harvest firewood, bean poles, etc., to show you are earning a living from it... I know 2 people who have done this successfully, getting permission to build lovely wooden houses. You could too. Though you really do need to work the woodland, which will mean you don't earn that much, though you should earn enough to live off. Quite an appealing lifestyle to be honest.

Takes a while to learn the skills up to an appropriate level - go on a few courses before making the plunge. Britain has lost around 90% of its coppiced woodland over the last century (several hundred thousand acres), much of it going derelict - it's an ecological disaster. Just been reading about it - how ironic we should be beating ourselves up over the tropical rainforests while we can't even look after our own woodlands and protect biodiversity on our own shores. Anyone buy native coppiced woodland beanpoles rather than imported bamboo here, huh? Doesn't take much to do your bit...

Edited by gruffydd

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He clearly doesn't have planning permission, as it certainly doesn't comply with fire regs. Huge great wood-burning stove in the middle of unprotected wood construction, very, very dangerous.

Oddly enough building regs aren't simply a wicked plan by evil socialists to make houses expensive.

Looking at the wood burner it probably does conform to building regs with regards plinth depth and air space around the appliance. Not sure about the chimney though.

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If you are working the woodland - e.g. by coppicing it, bringing derelict woodland back into production, which also increases biodiversity if done properly, and protects several vulnerable species, such as dormice (coppiced woodland is very cheap because most is derelict and seen as being of low value by commercial foresters), you can get away with it a lot easier - you'd probably need about 20 acres - put water in, then a caravan. Make charcoal, harvest firewood, bean poles, etc., to show you are earning a living from it... I know 2 people who have done this successfully, getting permission to build lovely wooden houses. You could too. Though you really do need to work the woodland, which will mean you don't earn that much, though you should earn enough to live off. Quite an appealing lifestyle to be honest.

Takes a while to learn the skills up to an appropriate level - go on a few courses before making the plunge. Britain has lost around 90% of its coppiced woodland over the last century (several hundred thousand acres), much of it going derelict - it's an ecological disaster. Just been reading about it - how ironic we should be beating ourselves up over the tropical rainforests while we can't even look after our own woodlands and protect biodiversity on our own shores. Anyone buy native coppiced woodland beanpoles rather than imported bamboo here, huh? Doesn't take much to do your bit...

I do this for a living, more or less. It can be quite a nice lifestyle, but it is very low income: I'm living in one of the cheapest places I can find in my town, yet I spend twice as much on my rent as I do on myself, and there's never anything left for saving, pensions etc. Other people I know in the industry are in a better position than me in that they own their house outright, or bought years ago and have a low mortgage. You can get by on quite a low income if you're not carrying a landlord !

Personally, I believe that anyone who really does care about the woodland they worked would not live in it, they'd simply work it with as little impact as possible, then leave it until next time.

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If you are working the woodland - e.g. by coppicing it, bringing derelict woodland back into production, which also increases biodiversity if done properly, and protects several vulnerable species, such as dormice (coppiced woodland is very cheap because most is derelict and seen as being of low value by commercial foresters), you can get away with it a lot easier - you'd probably need about 20 acres - put water in, then a caravan. Make charcoal, harvest firewood, bean poles, etc., to show you are earning a living from it... I know 2 people who have done this successfully, getting permission to build lovely wooden houses. You could too. Though you really do need to work the woodland, which will mean you don't earn that much, though you should earn enough to live off. Quite an appealing lifestyle to be honest.

Takes a while to learn the skills up to an appropriate level - go on a few courses before making the plunge. Britain has lost around 90% of its coppiced woodland over the last century (several hundred thousand acres), much of it going derelict - it's an ecological disaster. Just been reading about it - how ironic we should be beating ourselves up over the tropical rainforests while we can't even look after our own woodlands and protect biodiversity on our own shores. Anyone buy native coppiced woodland beanpoles rather than imported bamboo here, huh? Doesn't take much to do your bit...

Yep! I felled our over stood hazel coppice last year. Loads of new shoots coming up now. I discovered what a valuable resource it was when I built the external walls of our extension from wattle and daub using just hazel lath, mud and straw. I'm now thinking about planting a few thousand sweet chestnut as there is very little in Devon and what there is being managed on short rotation gets sold in weeks after felling for use as fencing. The new pressure treatment mix they use on softwood fencing is hopeless. I reckon sweet chestnut will become a very popular alternative in the future.

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Yep! I felled our over stood hazel coppice last year. Loads of new shoots coming up now. I discovered what a valuable resource it was when I built the external walls of our extension from wattle and daub using just hazel lath, mud and straw. I'm now thinking about planting a few thousand sweet chestnut as there is very little in Devon and what there is being managed on short rotation gets sold in weeks after felling for use as fencing. The new pressure treatment mix they use on softwood fencing is hopeless. I reckon sweet chestnut will become a very popular alternative in the future.

Hi, they've got a lot of sweet chestnut in Kent, also in Essex and Suffolk I think - local paper mill blocked pulp from anything other than recycled so the coppices have been struggling down there I understand from FC, as some relied on income from paper mill sales - madness - recycled cardboard and paper is 'better' so feck the local woodlands.

I really do question recycling a lot of the time - I chuck my glass out with the rest of the waste since I read a LCA examining the environmental impact of recycling glass in SW Wales - did more harm, in terms of pollution, than good. But everyone continues recycling their glass coz down here because the powers that be tell us its good for the planet. Dearie me. Btw, the report was not publicised because it was thought it would do more harm than good (went against Assembly policy).

Edited by gruffydd

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I do this for a living, more or less. It can be quite a nice lifestyle, but it is very low income: I'm living in one of the cheapest places I can find in my town, yet I spend twice as much on my rent as I do on myself, and there's never anything left for saving, pensions etc. Other people I know in the industry are in a better position than me in that they own their house outright, or bought years ago and have a low mortgage. You can get by on quite a low income if you're not carrying a landlord !

Personally, I believe that anyone who really does care about the woodland they worked would not live in it, they'd simply work it with as little impact as possible, then leave it until next time.

I dunno - if you build a low impact wooden house with compost toilets, heated with firewood, etc., I can't see the problem - anything that frees people from landlordism - I hope you find more people switching to your wood products over future years.

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I wonder if it can still be used after 25 years of UK's weather. What would happen to the wood? How would it smell?

As there's no bathroom and they're relying on a compost toilet, the smell of the wood will be the least of their worries.

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I dunno - if you build a low impact wooden house with compost toilets, heated with firewood, etc., I can't see the problem - anything that frees people from landlordism - I hope you find more people switching to your wood products over future years.

I was thinking more of the wildlife. Someone living permanently in a wood will create a bit of an exclusion zone for certain wildlife, whether they mean to or not.

Even worse is when people start walking dogs in woods. Ironically, dog walkers start to use woods more when people start "improving" them, usually by opening up pathways etc in an effort to "look after" the place. I know, from people who do some quite serious work monitoring wildlife in various woods, that as a wood gets busier, sightings of certain species tail off.

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It froze my nuts off just looking at it. Anyway, where does an island dweller earn £50,000 just for a 1/4 acre plot of land.

Not a surprise it is being marketed on the internet.

Skye actually relatively mild due the gulf stream running up the west coast. Has a pretty wet microclimate though and you would have to put with the dreaded midge

Warmer still on the outer hebrides, beautiful part of the country though

The hard part would be actually building house there, getting permission would be difficult. Concern too many holiday homes, driving up prices for locals and the like

Problem is also jobs, not that many about

Edited by The_Dude

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As there's no bathroom and they're relying on a compost toilet, the smell of the wood will be the least of their worries.

No toilet?! Is this dwelling actually legal? I'd rather live in a tried and tested house than risk cholera. If that were corrected, it might appeal as a holiday home - quirky, fun, unique. Can't skimp on ameneties though! I thought it was part of building regulations, like fire safety measures.

To be honest, it's the ultimate den isn't it. Chap has just perfected den building in a very well spent youth.

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