Transition Town Bridport

Local support for a sustainable Bridport

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Developments in Solar Technology

Here is the list of references by Joe Burlington about the progress of solar power, and on Kevin Anderson on climate

Communities Living Sustainably Legacy


Much of the work in the last year has been on planning Community-led Economic Development in Bridport, emphasising localism, quality jobs to retain our young, and a more sustainable lifestyle.

Read the full report here.

Three main strands emerged:

  1. How can Bridport Feed Itself? Read the Full report here or the summary report here.
  2. Local Materials in Construction. Read the report here
  3. Caring Bridport. Read the report here.
Much of the work in these reports is directly related to the Transition Town movement to building a resilient local economy which is sustainable.




Unconditional Basic Income

Many thanks to Caroline for her clear talk about Basic Income ( Citizens income). See basic-income/



There were two videos which we watched, and third which we didn’t:

In her talk there were several references to further reading and other sharing ideas.

  • Etsy Shop directly from people around the world
  • Henry George – Progress and Poverty “ … privately created wealth is socialized via the tax system (e.g., through income and sales tax), while socially created wealth in land values is privatized in the price of land titles and bank mortgages. If land rent replaced taxes on labor as the main source of public revenue, socially created wealth would become available for use by the community, while the fruits of labor would remain private …”
  • The disruptive Innovation festival http://www. programmes/education/dif from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation which promotes the circular economy http://www.
  • The 2008 bailout compared to other large government projects to show the government can find money for policies it likes : follow this link
  • Positive Money UK - A short film about what is wrong with our money system which funnels money from the many to the few.

Vearse Farm:

Transition Town Bridport ‘s View

Transition Town Bridport recognises that the need to tackle climate change, and peak oil, require a shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. To this end, it aims to reduce energy use, shift to renewable energy, build self-reliant and sustainable communities, and encourage local food consumption and growth. There are many ways in which this plan for the Vearse Farm development will not produce a resilient and sustainable community. There are also real concerns that it will negatively affect the viability of the existing Town of Bridport.

1. We do not think this large development on the edge of Bridport is an appropriate solution to the shortage of affordable housing for Bridport residents. The scale of this development will not facilitate the growth of a resilient community with a range of ages and classes of people. Communities can grow more effectively when they are conceived on a smaller scale, and the imposition of such a large development on a small market town the size of Bridport will place an intolerable burden on the medical, educational, cultural, traffic and social services facilities of the town.
2. Bridport already has a demographic imbalance, with wealthier older people moving to the area, forcing the price of houses up. Retaining our young people is paramount for the future vitality of the town. This requires:
  • The provision of jobs should increase in step with the development of housing, so that local people can get decent jobs and afford houses in the area.
  • The safeguarding of access to low cost housing, by a designation of affordable or low cost houses, and subsidised homes for key workers.
  • Consideration should be given to shared spaces along the lines of the co-housing or Community Land Trust approach, with communal clothes washing and drying facilities, social spaces, gardens, allotments and spare bookable accommodation for occasional use.
3. The development should consist of low-energy homes. It makes little sense to build houses which will be expensive to heat and cause high carbon dioxide emissions over their entire lifetimes. As the price of fuel rises, the need for energy-efficient houses will become more evident. While the planning committee of West Dorset District Council no longer has the power to specify environmental standards beyond national building regulations, there is clearly a demand for efficient homes; these do not necessarily cost much more to build. The district council should strive make this extra efficiency a feature of the development, thereby increasing its desirability to future residents, and making them affordable to live in over the long term. The plan should also provide provision for district heating, possibly through a combined heating and power station, perhaps incorporating an anaerobic digester.
4. One way in which the planning authority does have control over the energy efficiency of the housing is in the orientation of the houses. In the Illustrative Master Plan, the houses follow the curving lines of the roads. However a more optimal arrangement is to build the houses on an East-West axis, allowing the homes to benefit from larger windows on the South side, making use of the Sun’s rays to heat the homes passively; in addition many future owners or tenants are likely to wish to install solar photovoltaic or thermal panels on the roof as fuel prices increase and our renewables obligations regain central ground. The district council can no longer insist on panels being installed, but can make their future use more efficient by designing the roads to allow for the correct orientation of the houses.
5. Tucking the social centre, pub and shops in the North West corner of the development does not seem ideal for an organic or resilient community with residents of the houses at the SW corner having to walk nearly a mile to the shops. Similarly isolating the care home in the employment zone, in a three-story building, does not allow for integrating older members into the community, but seems an attempt at placing them out of sight and out of mind.
6. Vearse Farm is prime agricultural land, and while the master plan shows some allotments, thought should be given to providing a community farm on the estate, such as market gardens or aquaponics farms to provide employment, training and local food, so retaining the nature of the land.
7. St Mary’s school is a successful community school serving the Skilling estate. The long-term plan to close it down and relocate it, along with Symondsbury school, to the new development, will undermine these schools’ stability in the years while the axe is hanging over them and leave the Skilling residents without their local school. (St Mary’s school has already missed out on a CLS/DCC supported self funding renewable energy scheme whereby the school would benefit from free electricity, because of the uncertainty of the long term future of the existing building.)
8. Issues of drainage and flooding continue to cause concern, despite the provision of SuDS and permeable road surfaces. Reed beds and willow coppices could provide employment and useful material while helping to control flooding.

In conclusion, we oppose the imposition of a new housing development without ensuring people can live there sustainably and that the jobs exist for them. If they are to be built, they should be energy efficient and designed for the needs of a growing and resilient community.

Sharing Skills and Ideas

No need to wait until next year's Open EcoHomes. You can contact the hosts and other pioneers through our new scheme.Free and unbiased advice on cutting energy bills and making your home more sustainable. Click Here for details

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Transition Town Bridport