9th SE Essex Seed Potato Day: Saturday 23 February 2019, 10:00 – 14:00 (updated 11/01/19)

For all your (school) and gardening needs!   Our 9th SE Essex Seed Potato Day is a community partnership event with SEEOG, Southend in Transition and Trust Links. We have currently ordered 49 varieties of seed potato (some organic), to be sold individually at 20p per tuber (1 free tuber for every 5 bought). Some onion sets for sale. Venue: Growing Together Westcliff, 47 Fairfax Drive (corner of Fairfax Drive and Prittlewell Chase), Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9AG – please use the entrance in Prittlewell Chase. Why not put it in your diary now? Free admission –  Ian Tinton with ‘Dalefoot Composts’ – Seed share – Music – Children’s activities – Tea and cakes We have details of the stock ordered: First Early seed potatoes ordered for February 2019 – harvest around July: First Early varieties are quick-growing, cropping in around ten weeks. Not recommended for storage. A good choice to avoid potato late blight. Arran Pilot, Casablanca, Colleen (organic), Epicure, Foremost, Home Guard, Lady Christl, Orla (organic), Red Duke of York, Rocket, Sharpe’s Express, Ulster Prince, Ulster Sceptre, Winston … [Read more…]

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its provision regarding allotments

We are grateful to CPRE Planning for the information below: Generally, the NPPF and its provision regarding allotments is limited. Allotments are mentioned only twice within the new NPPF and these policies are quite vague and general. 8. Promoting healthy and safe communities 91. Planning policies and decisions should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places which: (…) c) enable and support healthy lifestyles, especially where this would address identified local health and well-being needs – for example through the provision of safe and accessible green infrastructure, sports facilities, local shops, access to healthier food, allotments and layouts that encourage walking and cycling. Para 91(c) can be understood as, if a council has identified a need for allotments (presumably as part of an open spaces and recreation needs study informing their local plan) then they can either identify land for use as allotments in the local plan or require developers to provide allotments on suitable sites through section 106 agreements as part of the open space requirements through their local plan policy. Of course, if the council has land available in its ownership that could be used for allotments, it can just make them into allotments without worrying about the local plan at all. Proposals affecting the Green Belt 145. A local planning authority should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the Green Belt. Exceptions to this are: (…) b) the provision of appropriate facilities (in connection with the existing use of land or a change of use) for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation, cemeteries and burial grounds and allotments; as long as the facilities preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it; In addition para 145 is helpful in that it specifies that allotments (and some associated structures) are appropriate development in the Green Belt. It is possible for a landowner to make a reasonable amount of rent from allotments, so this can potentially be a benefit since other developments would not normally be allowed. As you can see, 100% clear requirements for the provision of allotments within the local plan or for certain development proposals are not included. Therefore, at the moment policies dealing with existing allotments and regarding the provision for within the local plan might be different and depending on the individual districts. Presumably, also the implementation of policies dealing with allotments in future local plans will vary from district to district, particularly due to the quite general policies within the NPPF. Besides local plans, also neighbourhood plans could include policies for allotments. E.g. if a need for additional allotments exists within the neighbourhood area, the neighbourhood planning group may consider to implement policies dealing with this matter. Felix Beck | Planning Officer Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Direct Dial: 020 7981 2857 Email: felixb@cpre.org.uk | Web: www.cpre.org.uk/ Twitter: @cpre … [Read more…]