lammas.jpgThe Lammas are the UK’s first eco community to have been granted permission to construct a mini village. The nine families involved recently received approval to build straw bale and mud houses on a plot of 76 acres in the middle of nowhere Wales.

The name of the Welsh village where the new community is going to draw up their dwellings is Glandwr. But that’s not likely to connect with you. It’s far, far away from the civilized world as you and I know it. But if the Lammas have their way, that’s going to change. The group have thrown their building plans online so the world can see what they’re up to.

Plan is to construct four detached houses and five attached houses in a mini eco village that will be 75% self sustainable. “We plan to be largely self-sufficient, growing most of our food. We will keep cows, geese, chickens, ducks and bees,” the village’s co-founder Paul Wimbush told a Welsh newspaper.

‘Low impact’ is a buzz word. As is ‘off grid living’ – the extreme version of it. Water will be sourced directly from a live well that’s on site and the Lammas will also collect rainwater from the top of their turf made roofs. For their energy needs, the Lammas will depend on a water turbine system and on a biogas capturing mechanism. The latter is ‘fuelled’ by organic waste, compost toilets and wormeries.

So far, only two local authorities in Britain allow for the construction of eco villages similar to the Lammas. Planning for the Welsh project hasn’t been easy. Authorities in Pembrokeshire rejected the Lammas’ first plans citing lack of detail and worries that some of the building materials were not low impact. It took another five months before the Lammas had finalized the detailed plans that obtained the groundbreaking approval.

The Lammas plan to sustain their low-impact footprint by making their own fuel for transportation from coppiced willow and elephant grass. Wimbush told that community members will supplement their income by working one day a week. For the rest of its income, the community will generate income from the production of flax-made linen shawls. It also aims to market compost worms, fruits and vegetables on site and to local shops.

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