NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"  (Read 3637 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« on: July 07, 2016, 11:52:28 am »
I just saw the attached article in our local paper.

Setting aside the fact that worries about pigs almost sunk the plan for a straw bale house (really not sure if the headline writer was aware of the wolf-related irony there or not), this is really interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the application was 'made under the new Sustainable Living Criteria', which I'd not heard of before, and could be of direct relevance to many here who want to do similar.

Secondly they seem to have found a way to make a living wage from cows, pigs and hens on a 6 acre mostly woodland plot. The business plan etc is online at Stirling Council's planning portal (search for application ref 15/00638/FUL), and whilst I think it looks just a tad optimistic, it's certainly interesting (If I thought I could get an income of £18K p.a. for pork from a feed bill of £3K, I'd be doing it too!).

That said, I know the area well, and it's a lovely spot with lots of passing traffic at the road end. If they can build a sustainable house and find a niche selling their produce, I wish them all the very best  :thumbsup: .

What do the rest of you think?

Womble.

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
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Dan

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Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 12:32:21 pm »
Good luck to them, I wish them all the best.

The numbers look optimistic to me.

In year one they will spend £1k on a 'house cow and followers' (whatever that means), then get something (?) butchered for £225 that they can sell for £2,295 (51 x 4KG boxes @ £45 per box). £150 for winter forage looks light.

The business plan is light on detail around sales and marketing, and on cash flow management. In month 2 they will sell 100 6KG pork boxes for income of £4.5k.

Also no mention of expenditure on anything other than direct animal related stuff - no accounting for land management, machinery, fencing, housing, vet, etc.

Very interesting though and I hope it does work out, as a model it's something to aspire to. Most of us aren't brave enough to go all-in without some backup in terms of income, it would be encouraging to see it working in reality.

(Not sure why it's called a croft either.)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 12:47:20 pm »
None of their livestock needs any bedding, nor bought-in forage.  Nor contractor costs for making hay.  Dan's just posted; I'd assumed the £150 was cake, but maybe it's winter forage.  I guess you can get straw pretty cheaply up there?  But there's still haulage from the east side...

They expect to have a beast to slaughter every 12 months, rendering 200kg saleable meat, starting at month 8, having initially spent only £1000 on a house cow 'and followers'.  Must be a big breed for that amount of meat; I don't know where they'll get an in-calf cow, a weanling and 20-month old, all for £1000.  However, once they're rolling, there'd be no further purchase costs, I guess.  I'm dubious about rearing a beast that size off 6 acres that's also got all this other livestock on it.

No figures for packaging their meat or eggs.

I haven't worked through the pig numbers, but I'd agree that £18000 income for £3000 feed (and no bedding costs) sounds optimistic.


General running repairs £50/month.  With 150 hens, up to 30 weaners, the house cow and two followers, on 6 acres, you say?  In Aberfoyle. 

Well, if they make it, that's a model that many of us might like to follow!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Victorian Farmer

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Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 12:50:01 pm »
It's hard Dan when it's cheaper to buy sheep pigs from abatwars than keeping. We don't do pigs cattle geese and soon chickins. Wev been told to plant Christmas trees on the Croft sad times.

Backinwellies

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Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 12:57:37 pm »
I was looking at beef figures whilst you were all posting ...........  have had cows here now for 2+ years and beef is still only half grown! (calf born year ago after AI in first year).    £1000 might buy a cow and own calf but not much more.  .... I must be doing masses wrong should have earned  over £6000 from beef alone by now! ....   
.... and I'm obviously doing something wrong in winter too ... seems they can live off fresh air!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 01:00:13 pm by Backinwellies »
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 01:04:18 pm »


The numbers look optimistic to me.


The business plan is light on detail around sales and marketing, and on cash flow management. In month 2 they will sell 100 6KG pork boxes for income of £4.5k.

Also no mention of expenditure on anything other than direct animal related stuff - no accounting for land management, machinery, fencing, housing, vet, etc.


I've not read it yet, but that does look extremely optimistic, we've potentially sold that many 3-5kg boxes but in 10 months, and that is not without trying!!!

It's hard to estimate those costs admittedly, our figures were probably way out when we applied for planning, but to not include them is silly and obvious

mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 01:08:17 pm »
Doubt that bis plan would work in England
Seen more detailed ones thrown out.
And in England they go into everything costs,insurance,emergency fund,vets  ect

Wish them well but would be a shame to give people the impression its easy

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 01:20:16 pm »
So what we're concluding is that the "Sustainable Living Criteria" here aren't actually very sustainable! (at least from a financial point of view).

It seems the applicants have savings available for building the house and for the startup capital, so if that's how they want to spend it, good luck to them. I'm also totally in favour of low impact sustainable houses being built. I just think they'll have to be prepared for the business side not to turn a profit for the forseeable future at least. Either that or the rest of us are doing something drastically wrong!  ;D

The interesting thing for me is that such criteria exist, and clearly swing planning laws in favour of developments that can be shown to be sustainable. This could be of direct relevance to other TASers wishing to do similar. This is taken from one of the applicant's supporting statements:

Quote
The SPP promotes rural development (paras 74–83). Of particular relevance is the statement at para.75, second bullet:


Encourage rural development that supports prosperous and sustainable communities and businesses whilst protecting and enhancing environmental quality; It is against this general national policy that Stirling Council has brought forward their LDP, the Stirling Local Development Plan. The SLDP states that in the countryside there will be:


*More houses, appropriately located and generally in small groups;
* More woodland;
* Some different land uses – perhaps different crops such as for biomass, and different aims of land management, such as reducing flood risk and maintaining biodiversity;
* More free standing business premises;
* More renewable energy generation.

So suspend your disbelief wrt the financial aspects (it doesn't seem that the planning committee were all that convinced either)  and actually this looks like a really good scheme!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 01:22:36 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
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Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 01:46:17 pm »
Looks like cobblers to me. It'll be a couple of horses and a couple of sheep shortly after the house is built.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 01:57:34 pm »
You say that Rosemary, but actually this application was an amendment to a previously approved scheme for a livery yard......
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 03:25:17 pm »
So what we're concluding is that the "Sustainable Living Criteria" here aren't actually very sustainable! (at least from a financial point of view).

It seems the applicants have savings available for building the house and for the startup capital, so if that's how they want to spend it, good luck to them. I'm also totally in favour of low impact sustainable houses being built. I just think they'll have to be prepared for the business side not to turn a profit for the forseeable future at least. Either that or the rest of us are doing something drastically wrong!  ;D

The interesting thing for me is that such criteria exist, and clearly swing planning laws in favour of developments that can be shown to be sustainable. This could be of direct relevance to other TASers wishing to do similar. This is taken from one of the applicant's supporting statements:

Quote
The SPP promotes rural development (paras 74–83). Of particular relevance is the statement at para.75, second bullet:


Encourage rural development that supports prosperous and sustainable communities and businesses whilst protecting and enhancing environmental quality; It is against this general national policy that Stirling Council has brought forward their LDP, the Stirling Local Development Plan. The SLDP states that in the countryside there will be:


*More houses, appropriately located and generally in small groups;
* More woodland;
* Some different land uses – perhaps different crops such as for biomass, and different aims of land management, such as reducing flood risk and maintaining biodiversity;
* More free standing business premises;
* More renewable energy generation.

So suspend your disbelief wrt the financial aspects (it doesn't seem that the planning committee were all that convinced either)  and actually this looks like a really good scheme!

Indeed, the NPPF which actually came in in 2012 (i believe) is meant to take the emphasis off of the financial profitability and be more geared towards a 'sustainable' business. Which is sensible. If one grows all their own food and has minimal external costs (of living) why would they need this arbitrary minimum wage figure from the business.

Jullienne

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 04:35:48 pm »
I haven't read it yet either but from the descriptions given on here I would say either the people who wrote/interviewed have bent it a bit or they clearly haven't done the math. I am just about starting to make a living off 80 acres and that is by being a long time in the job, admittedly with limited finances. It sounds a bit fishy to me..... Still will be interesting to see what happens
boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. proverbs 27 verses 1-2.

Dan

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Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 06:14:49 pm »
The 'business plan' was obviously written to get planning permission, not a bank loan!

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2016, 09:15:47 pm »
You can write whatever you like in a business plan or indeed a cash flow forecast. I doubt if there has ever been one single one that was ever reflected in reality. I haven't read it either but some of the figures quoted are utter nonsense and any planning officers with any experience will be having a good chuckle when they're reading that one.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Planning: "Sustainable Living Criteria"
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2016, 07:23:28 am »
We know someone who built a straw house. It looked lovely, but fell down!

 

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