Parish Council Discussion

We are grateful to Arlington Parish Council for taking the time to review and discuss our proposed Management Plan and Section 106 Agreement. These documents together set out the restrictions which we would place on ourselves and our smallholders should planning consent be granted by Wealden District Council.

The parish council provided us with a list of twenty-one matters that they would also like to see addressed, ranging from a commitment to preserving the dark night sky to limits on overnight vehicle parking. We have incorporated as many of these into this Plan as we feel able to, while balancing the needs of our future smallholdings to create successful land-based livelihoods.

The parish council’s proposals that we have included in our Management Plan and/ or Section 106 Agreement thus far are:

  1. A limit of 25 vehicle movements on average per day in any 30 days.
  2. Parking overnight on each smallholding shall be limited to 2 vehicles per smallholding. We’ve agreed this but asked to allow smallholders to have more than 2 vehicles on up to 25 days per year, to allow for occasional overnight guests.
  3. Non-functioning mechanical vehicles shall be disposed of within 14 days. We’ve agreed this but asked for 15 working days, rather than 14 calendar days.
  4. Smallholdings are not to be used to store or service vehicles or machinery not used for agricultural purposes.
  5. There shall be no more than one residential structure for the resident family. We’ve agreed this with the proviso that a compost toilet is also allowed.
  6. Any permanent residential structure shall be no more than 140 square metres.
  7. Any temporary residential structure shall be no more than 60 square metres. We’ve asked that this limit is the same as that given for the permanent residential structure.
  8. On completion of construction of a permanent structure then the replaced temporary structure shall be removed.
  9. Seasonal workers shall commute and no accommodation installed for their occupation. We’ve asked for one shared temporary structure be allowed in order to allow for WWOOF volunteers to participate in the project. These are volunteers from outside of the area that volunteer in exchange for meaningful work experience.
  10. The shared structure shall be no more than 120 square metres in area and no more than 5m metres in height. We’ve agreed the footprint and asked for a height of 5.5 metres to allow clearance for agricultural machinery.
  11. The visual aspect of caravans and light pollution shall be masked to protect the visual perspective and dark sky nature of the site.
  12. NOT AGREED: The number of small holdings is reduced from three to two.The cost to smallholders of their smallholding is part of their business’ ongoing viability: the smallholders will have higher monthly capital and interest repayment if the costs of the land and development are split between two rather than three smallholdings. From our experience, it is the attitude and aptitude of a smallholder that dictates his or her success, rather than the amount of land that they cultivate. Of note, according to DEFRA, just over 50% of horticultural holdings are under 2.5 acres.
  13. The generator will be baffled.
  14. No fixed external lighting shall be operated on the land between the hours of 22:00 and 06:30.
  15. Smallholders adhere to a whole site Management Plan, as well as an individual plot plans.
  16. The ELC’s annual financial and social accounts are submitted to the Local Planning Authority (Wealden) on progress against the aims and objectives of the Management Plan.
  17. Smallholders are employed full-time in agriculture on the small holding.
  18. Any change to the registration of the ELC with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the asset lock, shall also be reported to the Local Planning Authority (Wealden) as it constitutes a fundamental change to the development.
  19. NOT AGREED: Management and disposal of manure from any livestock, human waste and all other waste shall be subject to Environment Agency approval and monitoring. Safe and sightly storage of waste is covered in our Management Plan, as is a requirement to ensure land is not contaminated by waste, waste water or manure. We make regular visual inspections. We are not aware of the Environment Agency offering any service to approve and monitor our type (and level) of activities.
  20. Before any sale of the land outside the control of ELC, all non-permanent structures shall be demolished and removed from the site.
  21. The Management Plan shall include an exit plan should, at the end of, or before, the 5 year temporary permission, the ELC cease to operate the venture in the approved form.