Low-Impact Development is recognised by the Welsh Planning system as playing a key role in the transition towards a low-carbon society.

Various pieces of planning legislation support new and existing low-impact projects, though most applications revolve around the ‘One Planet Development’ policy (TAN6, July 2010). This policy covers the whole of Wales.

 One Planet Development Policy

Basically it is possible to build new homes in the open countryside in Wales so long as there is a clear committment to sustainable living, natural building techniques, and land-based livelihood. In particular:

    • Households will be expected to demonstrate an ecological footprint as low as 2.4gHa/cap (after 5 years), and work towards a one-planet footprint.
    • All construction must be zero carbon in construction and use.
    • Projects must meet their basic household needs from land-based livelihoods within 5 years. This translates to approximately £3000 per adult per annum from land based activities. Over and above that residents are free to supplement incomes by other means (so long as that doesn’t include excessive travel).

Bear in mind that in addition to this there is additional policy guidance at both a national level (in particular PPW Chapter 4), and a local level (local development plans), which is particularly relevant for areas with a special designantion (National Parks for example).

The following document provides detailed guidance on exactly what is required for a one-planet development application:

One Planet Development Practice Guidance

And the following files have been comissioned by the Welsh Government as an Ecological Footprint Analysis tool:

EFA calculator

One Planet Development EFA calculator guidance notes


Detail from Lammas Planning Application (2008) Site LayoutDelivering the Lammas Planning Application (2007)Model from the Lammas Planning Application (2008)

The One Planet Council also offers guidance and support for One Planet Developments