The Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) is a social enterprise and not-for-profit community benefit society set up in 2009 to address the lack of opportunities for new entrants to ecological farming and horticulture. Please support our current planning application to create three affordable residential smallholdings for new entrants to ecological agriculture, in the village of Arlington, East Sussex.

The ELC has to-date established one project, Greenham Reach, a cluster of three affordable smallholdings in Mid Devon district on a 8.85 hectare site. Greenham Reach is now occupied by three families each operating a small farm business from their holding. The 8.85 hectare site provides five full-time jobs in agriculture, and organic, local produce to shops and restaurants and directly to customers.

The ELC’s first project has won wide-spread support including being featured as a CPRE case study, as a way of delivering diversity, sustainability and resiliance.

You can read more about who we are, our vision and existing projects in the “About Us” section of our website or watch a short film about us.

Our application for planning permission has now been validated by Wealden Council and there will be a public consultation period, ending 27 April in which the Council will receive comments from both statutory consultees (such as Arlington Parish Council) and the public. At the end of the consultation period, Wealden Council’s planning officer will either make a decision as to whether the application should or should not be allowed, or they will make a recommendation but refer the decision to the Planning Committee.

The planning application documentation is available both on our website page Arlington Planning Application and via Wealden Council’s Planning and Building Control Register (search for application no. WD/2017/0340/F)

In England, new entrants to farming and horticulture have almost no possibility of buying a farm: the cost of land and rural housing is just too high. ELC is a community not-for-profit organisation seeking to address this problem, enabling farmers and growers to access land affordably. Comments to the local authority are most welcome, particularly if you have a view on how the project will benefit the local area.

As a Sussex resident, it would be very useful to have your comments as a potential customer to the smallholdings. Would you welcome the production of more ecological food? Would you be a customer of the produce if it came to Lewes? Are you already a patron of the farmers market? Is there demand in Lewes for more ecologically produced food? Your support would be hugely appreciated and the deadline for letters is April 27th.

Please go to our web page with instructions of how to submit a letter of support here…

Thank you!


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