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Carbon-neutral couple's case 'is not exceptional'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 29, 2011

  • Dinah and Stig Mason with sons Yosse, 8, and Dahli, 9, and Moo the dog at their lorry home MARCUS THOMPSON EXMT20110614F-003_C

  • Dinah and Stig Mason will be evicted from their own land EXMT20110614F-001_C

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The father of a man whose family is fighting to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle on land in Devon has been told there are no "exceptional circumstances" to allow them to do so.

Brian Mason wrote to Mid Devon District Council leader Cllr Peter Hare-Scott in support of Stig and Dinah who want to continue living a carbon-neutral lifestyle at Muxbeare Orchard, Willand.

The couple, aged 34 and 35, received an injunction to leave after transforming what was a neglected four-acre plot into a smallholding boasting chickens and a 400sq m allotment.

Conservative Cllr Peter Hare-Scott, who represents the Newbrook Ward in Crediton, responded to Mr Mason and explained that councils must prove there to be exceptional reasons for them to deviate from planning law.

He said: "Frankly, there are no exceptional circumstances in this case.

"This is just one of at least 20 such cases we receive each year in this area of people buying or renting a small area of open countryside to try to establish a new residence on the land.

"There is no justification in agricultural terms for the creation of a new residence in open countryside."

Stig and Dinah lost an appeal against the council's refusal to allow them to live and work the land a year ago. They are now in the process of appealing a rejected planning application.

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