A Blank Canvas

One of the community projects we are involved in is a project to reclaim patches of waste land around the neighbourhood and plant them up for local food production.

Some of the patches of waste land are pretty vast, because a number of years ago now the council compulsorily purchased whole blocks of houses and demolished them to make way for a new development.

When the oil price spiked in 2008 and the world economy went into recession, people stopped buying houses and so the developer hasn’t had the confidence to actually start building yet.

Personally I doubt that the houses will ever be built, and our local community group has got permission to install some temporary raised beds on one of the plots.

What I am hoping is that when it becomes obvious that this isn’t just any ordinary recession, and the houses will never be built, we will be able to extend the local food scheme to the remaining plots!



  1. Peter said,

    February 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Most people seem to think we are entering several years of austerity, but I wonder if the prosperity is ever coming back. Are we merely going to have to get used to a much lower standard of living? If so, the property developer is going to become a less frequent sight; brown field sights may lie empty indefinitely. Reclaiming patches of waste land for food production may be the ideal solution. Vandalism could be an issue though.

    Also – how about some of the supermarkets handing back some of the land they have in their landbanks?

    • February 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Peter, yes I agree that vandalism could be a problem. The large site where we want to install the first few raised beds actually has a council CCTV camera on it, so hopefully that will deter any would-be vandals. But I am also expecting that we will have to persevere with it and hope that the scrotes eventually get fed up.

      The council are trying to get some money out of the government to ‘kick start’ the development, but after it initially seemed that the bid had been successful, apparently now there is some problem with the subsidy.

      It comes to something when the government has to pay private developers to build houses for sale, eh.

  2. Wendy Annne Flanagan said,

    April 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Andy
    Enjoyed your talk at Accrington library on 13 04 2010 and after reading many e-mails from Rob Hopkins and finding out as much as time allows about the Transition movement, I think more should be done to grow food locally and provide communities with food security and food resilience, and soon. Solar energy is very expensive and the grants too small to enable change on the scale we need to see.
    I think after Peak Oil prices will go up and people will need to adapt their world view and localise much more. Keep up the good work.

  3. Luke Wellock said,

    June 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Just wanted to say that your an inspiration. Im doing much the same as your selves. Keep up the good work

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