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Steward Wood planning permission safe

affinity | 06.02.2003 22:34 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles

The High Court judge upheld the Inspector's decision to give Steward Community Woodland 5 years temporary residential permission...

Good news - our planning permission is safe! The High Court judge upheld the Inspector's decision to give us 5 years temporary residential permission. (Our press release can be found below).

We will be holding a tree planting weekend on March 1st/2nd which you are welcome to come to, please ring us if you are coming. We will be planting oak trees to replace the Larch we have been felling this winter.

We are also holding a lot of work days in February to prepare for this, please ring to find out details if you would like to get involved in some cross cut saw tree felling, bramble clearing, log moving etc.

We are hosting a permaculture design course in the woods this August (4th-17th), get in touch if you are interested, the main tutor will be erstwhile scw member Devin Ashwood. More details will follow.

To keep up to date with the project, visit our website - which now has a new commercial section on woodland products and services that we can offer.......




Sustainable Woodland Community holds onto planning permission

This week the inhabitants of Steward Community Woodland were in the High Court facing a legal challenge to their 5 year temporary residential permission. The Judge heard the DNPA's case and said he did not need to hear the defence, as he did not feel that the case had been made to overturn the Inspectorate's decision.
This decision comes as the culmination of two and a half years of planning applications and appeals to the Dartmoor National Park Authority, the Planning Inspectorate, and finally the High Court. The Planning Inspectorate finally granted the community a 5 year permission to reside in the wood in August 2002, but the DNPA challenged this decision and took it to the High Court.

Dan Mills, a member of the community, comments:
We are extremely happy that justice Sullivan has upheld the decision of the Planning Inspectorate granting us temporary permission for 5 years. In giving this judgement he is fully satisfied that the Planning Inspector considered all aspects of our case and that his decision was proper and lawful. The judge agreed that the Inspector was justified in finding that the sustainable project being carried out in Steward Wood is worthwhile.

We breathe a sigh of relief that we can now get on with running this project without the worry and stress of continued planning battles, and we are loooking forward to working together with the Dartmoor National Park Authority over the period of this permission.


Notes to editors:

1. For interviews phone 01647 440233 or 07980 155194

2. For the full text of the Planning Inspectorate's August decision, a more detailed history of the planning process, previous press releases or a DIY guide to making biodiesel, please visit our website at

3. Project background ·
Steward Community Woodland was set up in April 2000 as a permaculture based sustainable living project, integrating conservation woodland management, organic growing and low impact living. We aim to encourage and enable environmental awareness and solutions by providing examples of sustainable land use and appropriate technologies.
We live in canvas and wood structures on the side of the Wray valley one mile south of Moretonhampstead. Steward Wood is a 32 acre plantation consisting mostly of Japanese Larch, Scots Pine and Ash. There are presently six of us living here, with a 5 month old baby. For more information see our website.

- e-mail: info@stewardwood DOT org
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