OPD Training Course Success


News article / press release: Thursday May 14, 2015

The One Planet Council hosted two training courses last week to provide information and advice about how to put together and assess One Planet Development planning proposals.








The first event was for local authority planners and other professionals, attracting Planning Officers from across Wales: Snowdonia NPA, Newport, Caerphilly, Pembrokeshire Coast NPA, Vale of Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire.  Most of these officers had some experience of One Planet Development applications, from the pre-application stage to approval and monitoring, and were able to share experiences as well as learn from the expert guidance on offer from speakers James Shorten, Bill Knight, Mark Waghorn and Tao Wimbush.  Consultants involved in preparing and assessing applications also took the opportunity to find out more about the process and requirements.

The second event was aimed at current or potential OPD applicants, with the goal of ensuring that applications arriving on Planning Officers’ desks are strong applications which cover all the required information and can be assessed without delay, streamlining the process for all involved.  The same topics were covered as in the event for professionals, but with an emphasis on the construction of a sound management plan and how it should be adapted to different circumstances.

A highlight of both days was the short tour of Tir-y-Gafel ecovillage.  Tir-y-Gafel (Lammas) provided many things: a course venue in the stunning recently completed Hub building; an excellent locally-sourced meal for participants; expertise and commentary from Tao Wimbush; and not least inspiration as both professionals and applicants saw in person what a successful One Planet Development can look like and how it contributes to the local economy, environment, and community.

Given the high level of demand and the excellent feedback received for both courses, the One Planet Council intends to run more events in the near future.  Stay tuned for further details.

About the One Planet Council
The One Planet Council is an independent voluntary body which enables and promotes One Planet Development.

About the expert speakers
James Shorten of Geo Sustainability Consultants is a geographer and qualified planner with many years of experience of a wide range of rural development work.  He is the author of the Welsh Government’s Practice Guidance document for Open Countryside One Planet Development (2012). www.geo-ltd.com

Bill Knight of 4th World Ecological Design is a consultant and has worked extensively on the theory and practical application of Ecological Footprinting Analysis.  He was commissioned by the Welsh Government to provide the One Planet Development Ecological Footprint Calculator which is used to assess the “One Planet” aspect of One Planet Development proposals. http://4wed.co.uk/

Mark Waghorn is the Director of Mark Waghorn Architects, a Llandeilo-based practice specialising in sustainable architecture.  He has recently completed a research PhD at Cardiff University on the topic of low impact design with homegrown timber. www.markwaghorn.co.uk

Tao Wimbush of Lammas is a One Planet Development practitioner, mentor and consultant.  He has lived at the Tir-y-Gafel ecovillage since gaining planning permission in 2009, where he and his family run small-scale sustainable businesses. www.lammas.org.uk

About the venue
The Lammas project centres around the ecovillage at Tir-y-Gafel, in North Pembrokeshire, which combines a traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture. The ecovillage was granted planning permission in 2009 by the Welsh Government and has recently submitted its fifth annual monitoring report demonstrating that the nine smallholdings have met and exceeded the targets required.  These targets are not identical to those of One Planet Development, since the ecovillage was granted permission before the OPD policy became active in 2010, but they are very similar in spirit.
The ecovillage runs guided tours every Saturday from April to October and also runs a range of courses, conferences and events throughout the year.

The project actively supports aspiring low-impact projects in Wales through providing planning guides and resources as well as supporting independent academic studies.

About One Planet Development
The concepts and basic requirements of One Planet Development are introduced in Technical Advice Note 6: Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities (Welsh Government, 2010).  Further details are provided by the extensive Practice Guidance for Open Countryside One Planet Development (Welsh Government, 2012) and the Ecological Footprint Calculator.

The Sustainable Development Scheme, “One Wales: One Planet” includes an objective that within a generation, Wales should use only its fair share of the earth’s resources, and our ecological footprint be reduced to the global average availability of resources – 1.88 global hectares per person. One Planet Development is development that through its low impact either enhances or does not significantly diminish environmental quality. One Planet Developments should initially achieve an ecological footprint of 2.4 global hectares per person or less in terms of consumption and demonstrate clear potential to move towards the 1.88 global hectare target over time. They should also be zero carbon in both construction and use.  One Planet Developments may take a number of forms. They can either be single homes, co-operative communities or larger settlements, and they may be located within or adjacent to existing settlements, or be situated in the open countryside. Land based One Planet Developments located in the open countryside should provide for the minimum needs of the inhabitants’ in terms of income, food, energy and waste assimilation.

Read more
OPC on the web: https://www.oneplanetcouncil.org.uk
OPC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OnePlanetC
OPC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/oneplanetcouncil