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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18th April 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and  Regeneration

 

Community Grown Food Management Agreement for Parcel of Land at Sir Ivor Place, Dinas Powys

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek Cabinet approval to enter into a Management Agreement with Dinas Powys Resident's Group for the parcel of land located at Sir Ivor Place, Dinas Powys. The land is currently a disused play area and adjoining overgrown area and the group is seeking to replace it with a community grown food area. This Land is shown on Appendix A, with outline plans shown at Appendix B.

Recommendations

1.             That, subject to sufficient funding being awarded by Tidy Towns, Cabinet approve the entry into a Management Agreement for the land with the Dinas Powys Resident's Group.

2.             That authority is granted to the Director of Legal, Public Protection & Housing to negotiate the terms and conditions of the Management Agreement in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety.

3.             That the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing be authorised to sign the Management Agreement on behalf of the Council.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To obtain the correct consents and permission to progress this project, to support and assist the work of voluntary group whilst protecting the interests of the Council in the future control of the land.

2.             To provide the necessary authority to agree the Management Agreement.

3.             To ensure the correct execution and completion of the relevant legal documentation.

Background

2.             The site is Council owned and currently managed by the Housing Service. It has previously been a play area which is now decommissioned.

 

3.             The site has been reviewed and has been deemed to have no sale value or building potential due to the fact that it has no vehicular access.

4.             The site is now overgrown and subject to fly tipping, graffiti, dog fouling and antisocial behaviour. This has led the Dinas Powys Residents Group with the support of Creative Rural Communities, the Council's Rural Regeneration Partnership, to seek to manage the site as a community growing area.  

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The Head of Public Housing Service has agreed subject to Cabinet approval for Dinas Powys Resident's Group to manage the site for community growing use. The Dinas Powys Resident's Group is a fully constituted Group and have been actively working with the community and Council to improve and maintain facilities within the Dinas Powys area for three and a half years. The Group has already been successful in securing external funding for other projects and by allowing the Group to manage the proposed area this will help to secure the site for long term community use. The Group has received support from the Dinas Powys Community Council.

6.             The resident's group has already consulted with the community and has clearly demonstrated community support for the project. In addition to this they have also held a number of public awareness raising meetings. 

7.             In addition to significantly improving this site from its current state there is a strong emphasis on helping to develop greater community cohesion in the area. It is hoped this can be achieved by facilitating the growing of food by the community in the form of individual, family and group plots and developing community space for community members to share produce, growing ideas and hold events. The Group proposes to hold a series of open community events on the site. The first being to host a community clean up day to remove rubbish. The site will we open for access to all members of the public.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

8.             The Group will receive support from Creative Rural Communities to establish the site. Some initial funding will be allocated from the Community Foodie project. The project will only go ahead if Tidy Towns funding is awarded to do the majority of the ground and site protection works.

9.             Creative Rural Communities will support the Group to establish the site, with officer time supported through grants from the Welsh Government's Rural Development Plan for Wales, European Union and the Countryside Council for Wales.

10.        The project will foster a community growing culture in Dinas Powys, which will in turn, impact on climate change through reducing food miles. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        The Council will need to enter into an appropriate Management Agreement with the Group. The Council will retain full ownership of the site.

12.        It is proposed that the Agreement be for the duration of 10 years.

 

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        The site is currently subject to a great deal of antisocial behaviour.

14.        The project will seek to establish a community growing site for all local residents. Research has shown that such sites improve community cohesion and reduce antisocial behaviour.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        The site will be accessible to all, including growing plots for the young, elderly and disabled.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        The draft Allotment Strategy 2012-2017 recognises the rising demand for allotments and the need 'to work with Community and Town Councils in addition to the private and voluntary sectors in meeting future allotment demand'.

17.        The Corporate Priority and service aim is “to achieve a quality environment through the promotion and use of sustainable practices and by making the best use of current and future resources”.

18.        The provision of a formal Agreement will improve working arrangements with the Community, Stakeholders and the Voluntary Sector.

19.        The resulting community grown food project will support the Council in addressing corporate priority E17 'Facilitate innovative and sustainable initiatives from local communities as part of the Creative Rural Communities Partnership'.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        Community Consultations have been held, which show support for the project. All Dinas Powys Ward Members have been consulted and fully support the project.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Economy and Environment

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Rob Mcghee, Rural Regeneration Officer (Food)

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Housing

Lawyer, Legal Services

Estates Officer, Financial Services

Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration