Tired of waiting for a letter, we went to see Planning this morning.

I didn’t understand everything the woman told us, but she said it wasn’t good news. Among the reasons given (as I understood them) were:

o the previous Planning Permission for a three-bedroom home has expired and we are no longer in a constructible zone (I’m still trying to see the logic here)
o someone has declared all “tourist villages” involving yurts will be refused
o the mayor does not approve (news to me)
o the department of agriculture does not approve
o the water people do not approve

Me: Really? The water people?

She: Yes.

Me: That’s strange – they told me they would approve.

She: (PAUSE) You could always apply for permission to build a house.

I felt the meeting could have gone better. Not unexpected, this “Non”. Just not worth waiting five months for. With a light lunch still stewing inside, I went to see the water people. It went something like this:

Me: Why didn’t you approve?

He: But I did approve – look. (SHOWS PROOF. REACHES FOR PHONE. INTO PHONE) Where did you get the impression I didn’t approve?

She: (ON PHONE) Who said you didn’t approve?

He: (INTO PHONE) The English man. He’s with me now.

She: (ON PHONE) The department of agriculture doesn’t approve. Because they will cut down too many trees.

Which leaves me bemused in several ways. Here are two of them: why did she tell me the water people did not approve, when they did; and where did the department of agriculture get the idea from that we would cut down a load of trees?

If they bothered to ask, they would have found out we’ll cut down a couple of saplings for each yurt (and there will be only three yurts in year one) which will be amply made up for with a 13-tree orchard, half an acre of ash and willow coppice, 20 blue spruce and a verdant hedge.

On top of this, we’re giving 10% of our profits to reforestation schemes globally in an effort to ensure continuity of life on this planet (to get slightly politico-spiritual for a second).

Other questions pop into my head with regularity. Like: If she chose to be flexible (or even double-jointed) with the truth concerning the water people… What did the mayor really say?

I’m going to ask him tomorrow.

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