Would you like to be a smallholder with the Ecological Land Co-op?
As we prepare our smallholder application process for our next sites in East Sussex, the Gower and Somerset (all going well with planning permission!) we would like to find out some more information about our potential smallholders.
We have put together this simple questionnaire to be completed by those that are considering applying to be smallholders with us.
By completing this questionnaire it will help us understand what sites you might be interested in, or if none of the above, where in the UK you would like us to be looking for land. We would also like to understand more about the experience and potential business plans of those that would like to apply. It will be incredibly useful for us in preparing our planning applications to have this information. It should take 5-10 minutes maximum to complete.
It’s important to underline that this is not the application process itself so there is no expectation to prepare any business plans that don’t already exist. It is for us to assess the level of interest and understand more about who would like to be smallholders with us.
In terms of our search for smallholders for our second site, we are not looking for smallholders just yet, but will be soon when the planning permission for the site in Arlington, East Sussex is secured (fingers crossed!) – we are currently preparing for our appeal which will be in the form of a public enquiry in September.
Once we have permission and we announce the call out for applications you will be able to see the full criteria for smallholders. As a rough idea the criteria are that smallholders have two years practical experience – and the planning will be tied with agricultural businesses – that is, producing food or other products from the land. Anybody that completes this questionnaire will automatically be alerted to the application process.
Our planning application for our third site on the Gower peninsular in Wales is being prepared and a purchase of a fourth site in Somerset is in process – so watch this space for news on those.
In the meantime you may be interested to read our full business plan here which details our timescale and financial plan, and you can also see the different payment plans for future smallholders.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1Marcia McGrail July 24th, 2018
I wish you all the best in the goal of a sustainable, living, working countryside, of which I would have loved to been part.
However, when I found myself with the opportunity in 2016-17 to do so (sale of house, lump sum pension), it was the lack of land that
stymied my dreams of a small-holding. Also, I don’t know how I would have reached the criteria of 2 years proven track record of
agricultural involvement for inclusion in the ELC scheme.