D-Day is on Tuesday 27th July 2021 at 4pm at County Hall when the IW Planning Committee will decide whether to approve or refuse the West Acre Park Application. Committee members visited the site on Friday and spent considerable time on site. I was not there as I am off the committee for this meeting as I am speaking against the application on the night via Microsoft Teams (Virtually). It was great to see all the banners and posters out in the community.
Ryde Town Council voted to support the Community Farm initiative as part of the on-going fight to save Westridge farm and Cllr Jenna Sabine and Lisa Carter (Ryde Appley and Elmfield) are supporting Amy and Nigel. Jenna is working on the application to register the farm as a community asset under Localism Act. Amy and Nigel and other local residents have formed a steering group. The Plunkett Foundation are supporting the initiative and Charlotte Hollins of Fordhall Farm, a successful community farm is mentoring Amy and Nigel and steering group.
“We saved Fordhall Organic Farm from development in 2006 by selling £50 community shares to the wider community. We raised a staggering £800,000 in less than six months. Fordhall is now owned by over 8,000 community shareholders and we have gone from strength to strength. Putting the ownership of local assets in local hands has incredible benefits that are long lasting. Not only does it safeguard the land for the future, but it also creates a local asset that everyone can benefit from and be proud of.
“Farming is an investment in the soil and landscape for future generations. Community ownership offers a wonderful long-term mechanism to provide security for tenant farmers and an asset for the community to benefit from. We know it is possible and I am sure Westridge Farm will be just as successful in their endeavours. We will offer as much support as possible to help them on their journey.”
Charlotte Hollins, Manager, Fordhall Community Land Initiative, Shropshire.