The Ecological Land Cooperative has just submitted a temporary planning application for Orchard Park, a 20.4 acre field near Rilla Mill in East Cornwall. We have grand ambitions for Orchard Park, as we hope to create three agroecological smallholdings for new entrants to ecological agriculture. Smallholdings will be rented to farm stewards, or 150-year leaseholds sold at an affordable rate, and this income will be used to buy and develop new agroecological sites.
Our planning application has requested permission for temporary agricultural workers dwellings for a period of five years, as well as a barn with a solar PV array. After five years we intend to apply for full permanent planning permission to enable the established agroecological smallholdings to thrive and develop long-term.
We need your help! We want to demonstrate to the planning authority that there is support for our proposals, especially from residents and like minded organisations and businesses in Cornwall. Comments can be submitted on the Cornwall Council Planning Portal, where you can also view our application and related documents. Our application reference is PA21/06226. Closing date for comments is the 25th August 2021
We understand this is quite an ask but it would be such an amazing help if you were able to do this for us. We have detailed below some key points as suggested things to cover in the letter. Any support is massively appreciated.
Key points to cover (Feel free to comment in any way you feel appropriate, but here are some things you could mention)
Why you support the ELC and this planning application. If you are writing on behalf of an organisation refer to your organisation's aims and objectives and the work you do.
The community, environmental, and economic benefits of small-scale agroecology, as well as its potential to create viable rural businesses.
The ELC's track record - we require tenants and to follow a management plan, which means the smallholdings will meet a high standard of ecological land management whilst being agricultural in perpetuity. Monitoring on our most developed Devon site, Greenham Reach, has shown a marked increase in biodiversity, especially pollinators, showing our management model works environmentally.
The ELC model encourages tenants and leaseholders to engage in their local community, which is working well at many of our existing smallholdings. This includes selling produce directly to the local community; work with local schools; work and volunteering opportunities for local people
The importance of provision of affordable opportunities for new entrants into farming
The functional need to live on site, as low impact farming methods are labour intensive by nature and require a very close attention to detail.
It may be useful to read over our business plan and website, and watch our latest film for a good overview of our work.
Thank you so much for your support,
The Team at the Ecological Land Cooperative