Monmouthshire growing scheme's £2m protection
4:01pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in Pontypool news
MONMOUTHSHIRE council is planning to hand over plots of land to communities for growing vegetables.
In a fresh idea from the county council, cabinet member Cllr Phil Hobson is suggesting that the council follows the example of the successful Incredible Edible scheme in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
Crops grown on pockets of land, passed as suitable would then be available for any community member to harvest, regardless of whether or not they are involved in the scheme.
However, community growers may have to pay out if anything goes wrong.
A report by the council’s sustainability surveyor Ben Winstanley says: “The applicant will be responsible for indemnifying the council from any claims arising out of the applicant’s use of the land up to a sum of £2,000,000. Further advice on this can be provided by the council’s insurance section.”
The news comes as the council puts a greater emphasis on encouraging residents to be sustainable.
On September 28, a community composting event headed by Cllr Phil Hobson offers a chance to question a panel, discuss composting and to buy a water butt.
In partnership with Tidy Towns, the event takes place at Chepstow Leisure Centre from 9.30am.
Mr Winstanley said: “There is a growing demand for the council to make under-utilised land available for the community to grow food. This demand has been created through the lack of available allotment space, prevailing economic conditions and the need to develop more resilient communities.”
Monmouthshire’s sustainability team has been working with the founder of Incredible Edible in Todmorden. That scheme began with herb gardens and progressed to planting vegetables round the town and encouraged staff at places such as the fire station to use their land for growing.
Monmouthshire council says it aims to grant licencesd to groups to manage the land.
It will also actively discourage guerilla gardening (where communities/individuals cultivate land without the landowner’s knowledge or consent).
lFor more details about how to apply, call 01633 644417.
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