Government plans Community Land Bank based on example of Fearnley-Whittingstall's Landshare scheme

Plans for a Community Land Bank to help release more space for food growing will be solidified over the coming months.

The Government has announced plans to help people grow their own food by working with the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (FCFCG) on creating a Community Land Bank (HW, 12 March).

A small advisory group will meet on 19 April to discuss the plans, which include an agency to bring together landowners and lessees.

The Development Trusts Association (DTA), FCFCG and Transition UK will meet, with advice from academic Dr Richard Wiltshire.

FCFCG London regional officer Catherine Miller said: "We need to look at creative and innovative ways of using the limited land we have.

"For local authorities the challenge is to balance the demand for food-growing space with many other demands on scarce open space as they try to make substantial savings."

The Land Restoration Trust and Landshare - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's scheme - have also been invited to the meeting.

Research funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government is out and phase two of research into examples and practical mechanisms is underway. An interim report will be published at the end of May, with further consultation until August.

At the same time, the DTA is working on the Meanwhile Project, a campaign to identify opportunities for creating growing spaces, such as at Bradford's stalled Westfield shopping centre site. The website will be relaunched on 24 March at www.meanwhile.org.uk.


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