Where is the current debate situated? The concept trigger for SIPS started out in my hometown of Oxford, however a lot of
Councils can relate to similar occurrences in their own areas. In the summer of 2007 a tent settlement was observed forming along the bank of Pot
(Bulstake) Stream close to the point where this water forms a tributary to the Thames. From a couple of tents it grew to the region of forty strong. The location is sandwiched between the Osney Mead Industrial Estate and the Grandpont Nature Reserve in West Oxford. The site is next to a rail bridge, while the pedestrian and cycle path is conveniently close. The town centre of Oxford is situated within a 1 km walk of the campsite. There are no facilities for personal convenience, washing or cooking at the site. From observation there was no smell or rubbish on or around the site. Tents were pitched on the flat flood plain of the bank leaving residents vulnerable to water damage or life threatening floodwaters.
Disadvantages of the Osney Mead LIPS Site
Illegal No supply of drinking water No personnel convenience No bathing facility Security risk to person Flood risk No utility supply Damp Security risk to processions No fixed address No rubbish or recycling facilities Noise from train
What is missing from current debates? Councillors need to broaden their mind on what the definition of a home is. Now is the time
to think outside the box. Councillors have a mindset of raising housing standards and social status. They are encrusted with political correctness and are on bended knee due to legislation and this conditions them to suppose that LIPS is a step back instead of the leap forward as the alternative solution to the housing shortage.
“The Council’s spending priorities were at present focused elsewhere, in particular on achieving the decent homes standard for all of its Council houses” (Council Committee Meetings - Full Council Action Sheet - 02 Oct 2006)
These tent dwellers are making their own choice to live this way. The conditions may not be
on par with housing standards norm, however, this is the type of accommodation which reappears again, on the same site, a few months after previous dispersion. This triggered the thought that, if LIPS development were designed appropriately, then there would be communities that would have immediately benefit. Should the LIPS development concept prove itself initially worthy, then there could be an even bigger draw to this LIPS living style.
Low Impact Permanent Settlement
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