PLANNING STAGE – BREXIT and making new friends!

Happy New Year. It has been a while since I updated this site so over the next few weeks I will try to bring you up to date with progress.

We finally submitted our planning application in December and the image above shows our designers’ impression of how our home will look after the renovations. More details can be found here: minterne. 

As part of the process I visited the nearest neighbours to brief them about our ideas. I was surprised that all of them commented on how unusual this was and how rarely anyone bothers nowadays to reach out and be neighbourly. For me it proved to be a great opportunity to start to build new friendships and meet people in what will be our new community. And as a direct result of this Mark and I were invited to a wonderful Christmas lunch with Mike and Linda, two of our new neighbours, at which we met many interesting people from the immediate area.

Through my work over the years I have seen many acts of community, particularly in the poorest and most vulnerable societies. In some ways the richer a society becomes, the more insular and selfish we become and the less notice we take of the impact of our actions on others. This feels more the case in cities than in the country and I have observed over the last 3 years of living in Dorset that the sense of community is evident. However the challenge is to turn this to good effect beyond immediate neighbours.

It is ironic therefore that many rural areas, including West Dorset, had a majority to leave the European Union. In doing this we are cutting ourselves off from a community that has brought us peace, rights, diversity, innovation and prosperity. We will be the poorer for it, way beyond the immediate economic impact that the current debate is mainly focused on. Whether remainers or leavers we need to try to understand why so many rejected this extended community and how we can inspire and reinvigorate a sense of engagement, responsibility and community even with BREXIT.

As to our Planning Application, reaching out to neighbours has engaged them with our project and may help us in gaining approval. We should have the decision by the end of February, I wonder if we will be any clearer on Brexit by then?






  1. Ah, BREXIT – the great community divider. I am still amazed that such a huge decision was made with so little information. The film Life of Brian springs to mind – ‘what did the Romans (Europeans) ever do for us?’ and ‘always look on the bright side of life’ while slowly being crucified. On a lighter note, the house will be fabulous and I’d lay bets that you’ll get your planning permission. So exciting!

    • Thanks Lorraine – there is a meeting of Beaminster Town Council planning committee tonight and our application is on the agenda so we will go and listen – may be interesting.

  2. Just back from the meeting of the Town Council and they loved it, said it was great to have a modern design in the town and also they loved all the environmental impact mitigation measures. They are recommending support.

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