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Author Topic: Blow to smallholding in North Lanarkshire - can you help?  (Read 6058 times)


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Blow to smallholding in North Lanarkshire - can you help?
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:58:56 am »
Received this today - if you can put pen to paper and support this venture, then please do so.

Last year you kindly let your readers know of some of the issues we were having trying to gain council approval for 7 smallholdings and 10 community allotments in North Lanarkshire.
Some of your kind readers contacted North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) in support of our venture to gain planning permission for 7 smallholdings ranging from 3.5 to just over 5 acres, each with a self build eco-sustainable dwelling.
Well as an update to all of our supporters, the submission finally went to a hearing with North Lanarkshire Council who rejecting our application 2 votes to nil, claiming that it did not comply with NLC’s planning policies.  The fact that NLC do not have a crofting policy or any form of policy to support smallholding was not relevant according to them.  All they were interested in was that we wanted a house on each smallholding.
Despite asking for a Section 75 to ensure that the land remained tied to each dwelling and within agricultural use, NLC were not willing to accept the need or requirement for the smallholdings and houses.  This is due to them demanding that each smallholding must only support a FULL TIME job in agriculture, horticulture or forestry.  We found this totally discriminatory to smallholders and those looking to change their lifestyle and to move into a more eco-sustainable way of living through a mixture of home working with reduced travelling and self sufficiency.
NLC also told us that our venture was had nothing to do with peoples personal lifestyle choice to raise their own food and livestock but in reality for large fancy country houses with BIG gardens only.  They were more interested in what we would sell the plots for than what their use and local benefits would be. 
We were and still are totally gutted at NLC’s narrow minded tunnel vision when it came to their decision with the detailed benefits not taken into any form of consideration along with benefits to the local community being totally overlooked.
So it is now to the Scottish Government that we must go to have our submission heard all over again despite our submission complying fully with the Scottish Governments eco-sustainable and carbon reduction policies.
In support, we would kindly again ask that ALL of your regular readers assist us in making this work for all smallholders across both Scotland and the UK by emailing Richard Lockhead, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister for Scotland, and Derek Mackay, Planning Minister for Scotland in support of our campaign to bring smallholding with a highly eco-sustainable dwelling to the forefront.
If supporters also contact their own MSP in support that would also be a BIG help.
I know this is asking a lot of your readers but the positive support we received previously helped us to focus our energies on making this work for all concerned. 
Without your readers and supporters ongoing dedicated written and online support, Scotland and smallholding in particular will both lose.
Kind regards and ongoing Smallholding support
Lyn Lewis
Earn Farm
FK8 3QL"


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Blow to smallholding in North Lanarkshire - can you help?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 01:14:10 am »
Ever thought of asking the planners what they want to see on the smaller holdings such as you are hopoing to have .
Ask them  lots of questions about some of the small holding businesses that they have granted permissions for . Such as what was being done , where the places are  & when were the permissins granted .
You should then be able to look up the planning control cases at your leisure and work out your battle plans accordingly .
 I know I'm a long way south of you It is something I did sucessfully getting the planners on side and divulging such thins is a massive step of great benefit to you .
 One of the big obsticales was that for what I was going to do , the planners  initially would not let me build a dwelling on the site as they said I did not need to be ther 24/7
 I researched things and was able to find RSPCA and other animal welfare rules and regs saying that animals would be better off with some one ther . I also attacked the farm security angle in a very locical order usig crime rate on farms inth area as a reason to be ther in my own dwelling.
 Re making a living .
At the time the planners stated I would have to make an agricultural workers salary off the small holding . I designed the place to run s long term crops such as  rhubarb,  top fruit , 200 organic free range chickens and sohay sheep .
 When permission was granted I made a half hearted attempt at it , spending as little time & money as I could then I let it slide & did what I'd been after doing in the first place  citing I'd had to diversify because the curent climate would not allow me to make a living despite my extensively researching the original ideas I'd offer to the planners. ..
 It all down to how you go about getting the planners onside and how you work their petty fogging  ideas to your advantage .
What ever they say don't rush into a quick answer or start shouting the odds & getting uptight  ,  think on it as you sleep , you soon find alsorts of very useful answers in the morning.
I don't think they can't throw you off your land or revoke the permissions if your a poor bussiness man or small holder that can't make a reasoned plan work .
Another thing I did was to go to my bank and ask what free EEC rural employment  schemes there were that they couild suggest would be helpfull to me running a small busines  .
 My wife and I ended up ona small rural busines enterprise scheme doing a full financail and busines plan over six weeks ,. called " Option 5b EEC help for high unemployment pockets in rural areas."
There are schemes similar to this runing most of the years , getting the busines plan education was a doddle and it also gave us extra brownie points as we referred to it several timnes  in our business scenario to the planners . they also got  copies of our EEC approve busines plan , backing of the enterprise board and also  letters from our  bank saying that as we had £ XXXX in our busines account we could get match funding pound for pound ................................. Every little helps when you interact with planners .
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country


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