Cwn Banw Eco-Settlement

Background

Cwn Banw Eco-Settlement is a project to turn a 55-acre farm in the Brecon Beacon’s into a Low Impact Eco Settlement, Sustainability Leadership Centre and Retreat centre. The farm is in family ownership and it is proposed that the farm is sold to a community land trust to be formed. The farm is currently mortgaged and this needs to be cleared. It is proposed that the Hancock Family would acquire one or two of the proposed residential low impact homes in the new low impact development.

The Site

The farm consists of two lots:

  •  Lot 1 – The Farmhouse, Stone Barns and 10 acres (Estimated £800K)
  •  Lot 2 – 45 acres of Land and Woodland, with Open Barn and Caravan with Planning Permission (Estimated £500K)

A significant amount of farm machinery and tools could also available as part of the proposals.

Location

The site is in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, South Wales UK: Black+Mountain+Retreats

People

The Hancock family have occupied the farm for 17 years and Michael Hancock is leading the opportunity to deliver this project. Together with Community Alliances, we are seeking people who wish to come together:

  • to co-create a vision,
  • find funding and
  • to progress a planning application.

We have begun the process of talking with potential people who have the desire and financial resources to participate in the equity of the project.
During this engagement, we have found that diversity is important as is a mixture of skills.

Proposed Development

It is proposed to develop an Eco-Settlement consisting of Sustainability Leadership Centre, Seven Low Impact homes with additional community facilities and a retreat centre. The development proposals are influenced by references to:

The Farmhouse

We seek to identify someone who wants to lead the development of The Farmhouse as a potential home for themselves and a Sustainability & Leadership Development Centre.

The barns offer the potential to build residential and training space. We seek someone who has the financial resources to purchase a long lease (999 years) for LOT1 and LOT2 with the objective of recouping the cost of LOT2 when the residential community is further developed.

This person or group will most likely be in the fields of Sustainability Consultancy and/or Leadership Development with a desire to live and work in the Brecon Beacons and take advantage of the barns to develop space for residential training or to run their consultancy practice from.  This person or group would see a low impact residential community as a positive use of adjacent land. The residential community and the relevant development would complement their work.

Residential Community

We are building a list of interested people who would like to build their own low impact home. We have secured interest from people so far with about £300K (collectively) and are seeking to build that interest. LOT2 could be sold directly to a group, but would need to raise cleared funds ahead of obtaining planning consent. The Community will be proposed under Low Impact Development (TAN6) planning regulations (One Planet Development). As such occupiers of the homes will need to make a living from the land. An application will need to be made and it is likely that this process could take 24 months. It is also likely that permission will also be first issued on a temporary (5-year basis) until the income can be established to meet the requirements. Permanent Planning consent would be granted upon the successful operation of a viable business.

We have interest in building a range of low impact dwellings including Tree House, Hobbit House, Log Cabin, Container House.
It is anticipated that people will live in individual dwellings, so having a mixture of privacy and the ability to participate in community activity.

Retreat Centre

We are also proposing that the Eco-Settlement provide a low impact retreat centre for people in distress. We have interest from people who undertake Pyrotherapy and other healing practices. It is likely that food would play an important role in the recovery process.

Produce & Food Production

Families will be involved in the production of food from the Land and it is also proposed that that produce is processed into more valuable end products to boost income. This could take the form of healthy meals etc. So, identification of people with skills in Food will be important in the mix.

Education

The natural resources of the land lend themselves to providing educational opportunities for children and we would be interested in finding people with alternative education experience. Home schooling has also been highlighted as a desirable feature within the community, or more broadly in the local area.

Income

Residents will need to decide if they wish to derive income from separate parcels of land, or if they would prefer to work as a co-operative, sharing revenues or individually. The framework for this may also be needed to satisfy authorities in meeting TAN6 requirements.

Equality

We are seeking advice on how best to offer people who are not physically capable of working the land to participate as the Settlement needs to provide enough land based income to sustain all its residents. It is our hope therefore that we can invite people who can’t work the land to participate as well.

Land

The land is predominantly on a north facing slope and on one side of the Cwn Banw valley, rising from the small riverbed to meet open heathland.

Plans

Some ideas have been developed and can be shared with interested people.

Further Information

For further information please email Michael at michael@michaelhancock.co.uk or call 07732520450

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