[prepared for the 2000 application for a low impact dwelling for a permaculture (sustainable) holding]
We are writing to you as a member of the Snowdonia National Park planning committee regarding our application for a house at Tir Penrhos Isaf (app. no. NP5/60/7). Due to the length of time that we have been involved in this application, the committee has changed somewhat and we do not know the members personally. So we are writing to you to make sure that you have at least some knowledge of our background.
We came to Wales in 1976 and to the Dolgellau area in 1982. We bought Tir Penrhos Isaf in 1986 and have been working on the site since then. We received temporary permission to live there in 1991. As we said in our original application, our intention was to establish a number of connected businesses that would support each other. These would be land based and follow the pattern of the ethics and principles of permaculture design. We have explained how these ethics and principles deal with the needs of the community and the environment and reflect the statements on sustainable development made by the Assembly and the Snowdonia National Park.
As we have said in our applications, we do not believe that a high income is the only way to show success in rural areas. We have argued since the beginning that cooperation and the sharing or exchanging of services, produce and equipment and thus taking part in the community is a traditional way of life in this area, and that is what we have been trying to do.
Under pressure from the Park to show financial success I took on outside work to raise money to invest in business elements on the site. Unfortunately, Lyn developed cancer and required surgery, follow up treatment and a convalescent period, of course this greatly affected our work. Since then, the situation is much improved and the need for outside work reduced. It has been possible for me to hand in my notice and we will be able to concentrate on the site and local communities, Hermon, Abergeirw, Ganllwyd and Llanfachreth.
We believe that we have developed an income from the land that shows that we have succeeded in our intentions. The income depends on courses, visitors, horse training, the garden, plants and livestock.
We think that this is a unique application and the Park will still maintain control through a number of things. We wrote criteria for measuring the success of sustainable holdings in 1994 and we have suggested that the Park use them as part of the conditions on the application. We would be happy to tie a house to the land and accept a personal permission if that was necessary. Also, the word permaculture is copyright (held by the international charity) and we (and others in the permaculture association) would object if anyone attempted to misuse the name or ideas. We hope you will support this application. Many thanks for your time.
Chris, Lyn and Sam Dixon
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