A new borough-wide local plan 2033, known as LP33 is being prepared to direct and guide development in the borough up to 2033. Once adopted LP33 will combine and replace the existing plans.
The new plan has a draft policy to restrict hot food takeaways. This policy was subject to examination due to being challenged by objectors. The policy being challenged is: LP39 Over-Concentration of Uses
Hot Food Takeaways
A. Proposals for new hot food takeaways (A5 use class) will only be permitted where all the following criteria are met:
i. It is located within a designated centre and would not result in more than 5% of the units in the centre as a whole being A5 uses; and
ii. There would at least three non-A5 units between the proposed use and an existing A5 use; and
iii. It is not located within 400 metres of the boundary of a primary school, secondary school or community college; and
iv. A commitment is made to operate in compliance with the Council’s Healthy Catering Commitment.
Food growing has a reduced presence in the new plan, possibly due to the lack of community champions getting involved in plan making and the disappointment at the loss of local community gardens due to development pressure. Open space is increasingly being provided in roof gardens, roof terraces or balconies and is not in the public eye.
Policy LP46 Protection and Enhancement of Green Infrastructure states
F. Allotments and Food Growing
The Council will protect existing allotments and support the provision of new food growing spaces.
Local Plan policy on community food growing in Hackney (2015)
Hackney Council has published the detailed policies which will now be used to determine planning applications. The Council formally adopted the Development Management Local Plan on 22 July 2015.
Allotments and food growing projects are formally recognised for their role in promoting health and well-being, mental health and spiritual well-being. (Policy DM3(B)).
Detailed development management policies expand on this. The policies are in Chapter 6: Cleaner Safer Greener. The Council specifically supports the provision of new, improved and expanded allotments, and local food growing initiatives and operations, especially on existing open spaces and temporary derelict land where short or medium term development is not planned (Policy DM33) and requires the provision of communal amenity open space in large development proposals (Policy DM31).
Food growing is included as one of the benefits of Hackney’s network of open spaces (para 6.9.2). Developers are reminded that, in designing schemes, open space provision should be considered from the outset on a site specific basis and that this could include for food growing. (para 6.9.10). A section of Chapter 6 is devoted to Allotments and Food Growing (6.11). This reiterates the benefits of community gardening and promotes Capital Growth and Hackney websites. Opportunities to provide local food growing initiatives are varied and proposals should consider accessibility and how differing demands on the use of open spaces have been considered.
The detailed policies that refer explicitly to allotments and food growing are:
- Policy DM31 – Open Space And Living Roofs
- Policy DM32 – Protection And Enhancement Of Existing Open Space And The Lee Valley Regional Park
- Policy DM33 – Allotments And Food Growing
Any developer preparing a planning application should consider how their proposals:
- provide set levels of communal amenity open space for development proposals proposing 10 or more residential units and / or more than 1000sq.m of commercial floorspace; opportunities for food growing should be maximised (Policy DM31)
- make financial and/or physical contributions for the enhancement of existing public open space in deficient areas if is not possible to provide the required levels of new communal open space on site (Policy DM31)
- protect and create community gardens, food growing facilities and allotments (Policy DM32)
- include food growing as part of landscaping schemes (para 6.13.2)
- make adequate provision to support onsite food growing such as storage of equipment, composting, equality of access and security (Policy DM33)
- have no detrimental impact on the character, appearance and amenity of the surrounding area (Policy DM33).
In responding to planning applications, the Council will:
- support the provision of new, improved and expanded allotments and local food growing initiatives and operations (Policy DM33).