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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 09:55 GMT
Launch for eco-village settlement
House made of straw
It is expected most of the houses would be self-built by residents
A plan to build an eco-village of up to 45 low impact homes made from natural and recycled materials went on show in Carmarthenshire on Saturday.

A group called Lammas aims to create a largely self-sufficient settlement with community centre, shop, workshops and hostel on 100 to 250 acres of land.

It is looking for a suitable site in south west Wales, with the village a "blueprint for sustainable living".

It was launched at the Red Dragon Hall in Drefach Velindre.

The concept is to create 30 to 45 dwellings situated around a traffic-free central village green.

A house built of stone
It's an open project open to anyone with low impact aspirations
Paul Wimbush

Each would have vehicle access to the rear, on the other side of which would be a series of agricultural and forestry plots as well as wilderness areas.

Paul Wimbush of the Lammas core group said: "It would be sustainable living at its cutting edge.

"The houses will be purpose built by the residents themselves and we envisage a wide range of materials and designs using stone, wood, straw, turf and recycled materials."

He said the settlement would become integrated with the local community and would be a source of affordable housing for local people.

He said preliminary discussions had taken place with local councils and Lammas was looking for a suitable location either in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Swansea and Gower.

Transport restrictions

"In order to raise the initial capital to purchase the land we are notionally selling off between 15 and 20 plots in advance to people who are able to invest in the project," added Mr Wimbush.

"It's an open project open to anyone with low impact aspirations.

Roundhouse
A self-sufficient community exists at Brithdir Mawr in Pembrokeshire

"We have about 25 households who have shown an interest in living in the project so far and about 250 households who are supporting the project."

There would be transport restrictions and people would need to make their livelihoods on site.

When up and running it could be used to educate people on sustainable living, said Mr Wimbush.

"One of the main objects of the project is to provide a research model so that low impact development can be thoroughly assessed.

"If everything goes to plan we envisage buying the land next winter with people starting to move on by late summer 2007. The community would be fully established by 2012."

South west Wales is already home to a number of low-impact settlements.

More than 80 people live in tents and caravans at an eco-community dubbed Tipi Valley near Llandeilo.

Around 20 people live in wood and earth-built dwellings at Brithdir Mawr in Pembrokeshire, which aims to work towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.


SEE ALSO:
Tipi planning fight finally over
19 Jan 06 |  South West Wales
Eco-house battle put on hold
16 Jun 05 |  South West Wales


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