Community Land Trusts

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
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
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
• Might such a partnership speed up CLT
growth in urban areas?
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