Community Land Trusts and Local Food Needs Pat Conaty Rebuilding Society Network Community Land Trusts Affordable housing & food provision linked • Chartist Land Company: six co-operative villages developed like ‘O’Connerville’ – cottages and 2 acres for market gardening • Letchworth Garden City: allotments, small holdings and agricultural guilds developed • CLTs for farms – early developments now (Land Heritage Trust and Soil Association) Local Food Decline in Britain • 1939: 96% of food was grown regionally in European countries • 1900 to 2010: loss of 97% of fruit and vegetable varieties • 1.4 million allotments in 1940s compared to 200,000 in 2008 Food Growing – Rising Demand • 6 million interested in local food growing • 40,000 plus have signed up for Landshare • Waiting list for allotments has grown from 13,000 (1996) to 100,000 (2008) • 40 year wait in London, 10 years in Poole • ‘Guerrilla gardening’ on the rise • 40 Community Supported Agriculture projects in England and growing in EU Cost of Living and Food Growing • Food costs rising with oil costs – food and energy security are linked • Allotment holders saved on average £950 in food costs in 2009 – food value can be £1250 per allotment • Food packaging costs an average household £450 a year Land Tenure and Access • 1% of the population owns 70% of the land • In Kent and Hampshire, 31-35% of land is owned by 0.02% of the population • 73% of people in Kent own no land at all • Longest waiting lists for allotments include: Greater London, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyneside, Sussex, Kent, Cheshire and Hampshire Sources of Land • Local authorities: 12,710 hectares of vacant brownfield land and 96,206 hectares of agricultural land • Church of England: 10,000 acres plus • Royal Family: 677,000 acres • Forestry Commission and MoD • Network Rail, British Waterways, utilities and corporate land banks Sustainable Communities Act • Local authorities like Sheffield developing food growing projects for derelict land • Birmingham City Council seeking to support market gardening businesses to create jobs through urban farming • Lambeth Council developing a Fruit and Vegetable Co-operative Planning Policy Guidance PPS 3 (housing) calls on local authorities to: (i) Have policies for the protection and creation of open space and biodiversity (ii) Incorporate sufficient green space in developments including allotments (iii) Section 106 agreements can fund allotment provision Community Land Bank Project to release land for community gardens and local food growing Steering group includes: • Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (CLB proposer and lead body) • Development Trust Association • Landshare • The Land Trust (urban and rural land) • Transition Towns UK • Wessex Reinvestment Trust Community Land Bank Aims 1. Act as a brokerage for land access 2. Offer security to both landowners and tenants on terms and length of leases 3. Reduce tenure costs and charges and cut delays in securing land access 4. Offer good practice precedents to landowners 5. Hold land in trust where appropriate CLB Round Table Events • Held in Bristol, Brighton & Hove, Nottingham and Birmingham • Strong interest from local authorities, some housing associations, universities, Sustrans, British Waterways, Green Belt Group plus some NHS interest • Issue not land but in developing trust & new ways to operate viable projects (revenue support facing cutbacks) CLB – Demand Side • • • • • • Allotment seekers on the waiting list Community groups with no garden space Rural villages with no allotment provision Transition Town and local food groups New entrants to farming and CSA groups Regeneration bodies looking at horticulture for future work (Detroit, USA) • Market gardening – social enterprises? CLTs and Food Growing? • What is the scope beyond housing? • Does the CLB brokerage make sense? • How might work with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens be developed? • Might such a partnership speed up CLT growth in urban areas?