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So can I take over a field?

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: July 12, 2011

Dinah and Stig Mason with sons Yosse and Dahli

Dinah and Stig Mason with sons Yosse and Dahli

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I HAVE read with total amazement that a lovely couple as I am sure Dinah and Stig Mason are, are being supported by local people in their efforts to be allowed to build up a smallholding in a random field of their choosing.

If that is OK then I should look for a field maybe with a nice view, park up for a few nights, say my vehicle is stuck so I can't move on just yet.

Then put the children in a local school quickly and say they are settled in and Bob's your uncle; carbon neutral small-holding.

Oh, and get people to sign a petition if that doesn't work.

They had a residence before this, so who put them in this position?

If they had £47k to buy the field they could have put a hefty deposit on a small-holding and bought one for about £350 to £400k and both gone out to work for long hours like the rest of us and still be carbon neutral.

Let's face it they tried it on and came unstuck, it's not that complicated. Evict them or let us all have a chance to do the same.

ROGER TANCOCK Willand Old Village

Click on the links below for more stories and reaction on Stig and Dinah Mason...

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Father's plea for 'carbon neutral' couple rejected

Carbon-neutral couple's case 'is not exceptional'

Father writes in support of 'off-grid' family facing eviction from their own land

We can learn from Masons

Appalling that such hard work should go to waste

A better life is in our power

Read more from Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette

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  • pacosamo  |  January 20 2012, 7:40AM

    So can I take over a field? Well, you should be able to. Any land should be used by the people that need it and can take care of it, not by banks and property speculators. I sense that you are bitter that you´re a slave of the sistem working "for long hours". And i sense you don´t have the courage to face it and do something positive about it, as this family did.

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  • Kernowbay  |  December 14 2011, 3:35PM

    Wow, why was this published by This Is Devon, when the writer has clearly not even read the other stories on this site regarding the Masons?! If read as an ironic Jeremy Clarkson style rant, its quite hilarious, however Mr. Tannock appear to be serious and this I find worrying. The first thing that strikes me is that Tannock comes across a little jealous. "If they had £47k to buy the field they could have put a hefty deposit on a small-holding and bought one for about £350 to £400k and both gone out to work for long hours like the rest of us and still be carbon neutral." So from this we can infer this is what you have done and now find yourself with an expensive mortgage, working all hours to support it and keep your floors heated. Perhaps after a life of following the rules, building monetary wealth he finds himself unhappy so must ruin the attempts of others. "Evict them or let us all have a chance to do the same." Well Tannock, this says it all doesn't it. Its never too late mate! Sell the oh so carbon neutral underfloor heated house and the fuel guzzling car you drive, BUY some land and start living the good life.

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  • TruckTone  |  July 20 2011, 11:48AM

    What a bitter sounding man. I hope whatever ails him that he get better soon.

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  • mike_good  |  July 17 2011, 6:27PM

    Dear, thisisdevon people - why have you such a vile and misguided joker writing for you? He clearly hasn't dived any deeper than watching the BBC 5mins of programming, about the Masons. He obviously repulses the majority of your readers, fails -with resounding pride- to recognize the real issues involved here -land rights, food-fuel poverty, environmental sustainability. He clearly has put very little effort into this shallow and condescending rant, quite frankly- this is the type of thing one might expect to find on a adolescent forum. I for one, will consider looking elsewhere for my news in future. "If they had £47k to buy the field they could have put a hefty deposit on a small-holding and bought one for about £350 to £400k and both gone out to work for long hours like the rest of us and still be carbon neutral." Yea, if they find a job that pays 6 figures close enough to ride a bike to in the mornings... oh, wait- how will they have time to grow their own food?, guess they'll be buying most of it -delivered by electric cars?, don't think so. "still be carbon neutral" will they?

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  • piglet_uk  |  July 13 2011, 11:08PM

    Deary me, Mr Tanock has obviously been reading news international reporting for far too long .... never let the facts of an issue get in the way of a good story to shock the people who live in their £400,000 pound houses !! ...after all the Nimby's wouldn't want to read about decent folk showing responsible values for their environment would they ! I for one commend the Masons for the hard work and determination they have shown in turning THEIR land into a productive smallholding. I agree with Mr Byrne and believe that if more people took responsbility for their environment , the world would be a better place.

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  • Kateletts  |  July 13 2011, 8:12PM

    Good lord! What planet does this man ROGER TANCOCK inhabit? I can't help but admire the Masons, £47k wont get you very far these days, they could have *****ed it quick on holidays and the like so that they didn't loose their benifits but no, they invested in the future of their family, buying a derilict piece of land and living off it! They've not done as you suggested, found a 'field maybe with a nice view, park up for a few nights, say my vehicle is stuck so I can't move on just yet.' They've bought it! These laws are to stop people from building all over our farm land, which is wise! These people have turned derilict acerage into a productive smallholding and I for one think that they should be commended! Kate Quayle

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  • denisehodges  |  July 13 2011, 7:35PM

    I have known Mr Roger Tancock for around 15 years and he is deserving of all the criticism that is being placed on here. He portrays himself as a CHRISTIAN FAMILY MAN. There are a few facts that he is omitting to mention in his letter - The Masons purchased the land, they moved to give their children a better life. Mr Tancock is a self claimed businessman who lives in granduer in Willand in a large new build house with underfloor heating and all the trappings that his money can buy. The reality is that jealousy is not a good look on anyone. He like myself is one of the first to moan about social scroungers but the Masons do not fall into this category, they are self sufficient, tax paying, community giving people who just want a good life. They have bought a run down piece of land and regenerated it. I am sure that Mr Tancock would rather 20 new builds on that site (more with his keeping). They are not asking for the earth but the reality is that the council would like them to receive all the benefits they can chuck at them, live in rented accommodation, eat **** and become real social outcasts. ALL AT OUR EXPENSE. For Mr Tancocks reading there is a biblical saying that is apt Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. None of us are perfect and in our own way want what is best for our families be that living in a grand house and putting money into the corporate pockets or living the good life from the land that we own. If I could afford it I know which I would choose. Denise Hodge

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  • 2ladybugs  |  July 13 2011, 6:34PM

    A mortgage of £350K to £400K - Where pray in Devon would anybody get a job to warrant this size of mortgage? Sounds like this Mr. Tancock is a NIMBY - I maybe wrong. Why, when this couple are managing to support themselves living of their land, would they be silly enough to work for somebody else just to pay for a huge mortgage. Mr. Tancock must be living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks people want to saddle themselves with huge debts just to live. It's about time this country realised that if a few more families were allowed to live life like Dinah and Stig Mason we would have less DHSS payments etc. to pay for.

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  • StevePByrne  |  July 13 2011, 6:08PM

    Fortunately Roger, it is not yet compulsory for us all to yoke ourselves to an enormous mortgage, and although I'm sure it is nice for you to live in a world where banks hand out £400,000 mortgages, the rest of us live in a different world entirely, where not everyone has a £100,000 salary. What differentiates this couple from the likes of you, is that rather than simply 'buy a bit of land with a nice view' and build all over it, they are doing their best to provide for their own needs, whilst enhancing the local biodiversity and environment. It will probably come as a surprise to Roger that this entails working long hours - just like rest of you, only in this case they will get the chance to see their children grow up, and with any luck, educate them to be useful, confident and tolerant members of society, rather than embittered NIMBY's, who fancy a bit of 'the good life', and can't resist the opportunity to impose their own narrow view of the world on us all. The Masons deserve all the support they can get - if only more people would take responsibility for their own needs, and for their environment, the world would certainly be a better place.

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  • Badgr  |  July 13 2011, 6:01PM

    Apologies to Colin Jones, i was referring to Roger Tantock, not him..

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