Planning Council Approval Required for Buddhist to Meditate on His Land

January 6, 2004

Source: The Telegraph

On January 6, 2004 The Telegraph reported, "A Buddhist has been told that he needs planning permission before he can meditate in woodland he owns. Edward James, 51, from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, bought the half-acre wood overlooking the Crouch estuary near Hockley so that he and a few friends could sit cross-legged and meditate among the trees for about half an hour at a time. However, an objection was lodged with the council. The Essex Wildlife Trust objected because it feared trees were being damaged, including the removal of "old and long-established ivy". A local resident expressed concern because several vehicles were turning up at the site with would-be meditators...'I was told I would need planning permission because it was a change of use from woodland to meditational woodland,' [said Mr James.] 'I had to fill in the same forms that you would need to build a skyscraper.'"