Capital Growth contributes to new Community-led Plan for London, published by Just Space

The draft plan calls for more public participation and new initiatives in urban planning, as well as the need for secure and accessible food growing sites across London

Through meetings and a panel discussion with other food growers in the city, including the Community Food Growers Network, Women’s Environmental Network and the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens, Capital Growth helped shape the 'Community Food Growing & Food Production' section of Just Space's new 'Towards a Community-Led Plan for London.'

This section outlines how planning policy could be used more actively to benefit food growing in the city. It hightlights the need for accessible, long tenure-ships on land, and for prioritising growing on under-used or vacant public space. It also asks that all new housing developments include community growing spaces, and that current growing sites are safeguarded from future development.

The vision for a Community-Led Plan grew out of Just Space's frustration by the few gains resulting from community participation in successive Examinations in Public (EiPs) of the London Plan, and at too late a stage in the process, and so they decided to write a set of London Plan policies from a community perspective. Eighty-five different organizations have contributed to the draft, from local community campaigns to pan-London interest groups.

Richard Lee, Just Space co-ordinator, said:
“Londoners need to be involved in strategic thinking about what kind of a city we want to live in and how policy can reflect that, rather than being just ‘end users’ of the planning system. Our policies focus on London’s well-being, for example through a more localized, fair and green economy; the refurbishment of existing homes; functional blue and green spaces; the importance of social infrastructure and community assets. The proposals come about through ground-level knowledge and the principle that London should be a city for all.”

Read more about Sustain's work on planning policy and on food growing with Capital Growth.

The full report can be downloaded from Just Space, with the 'Community Food and Food Production' section found on pp 48-51.

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Capital Growth: The Capital Growth campaign, run by Sustain's London Food Link offers practical and financial support to communities around London to help more people grow more food, and to have greater access to land and growing spaces for community benefit. The Capital Bee project, part of Capital Growth, seeks pledges to promote bee-friendly behaviour, and supports establishment of community beehives.

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