Decisions, decisions…

Realising a dream like this one requires a little hope, a lot of faith and it seems a whole load of paperwork.  Encouraged by the light-footedness of Incredible Edible Todmorden where they just started planting up bits of wasteland with veg, we thought once we had the site and a bit of money for some materials we could get on with creating our garden. But not so – we first need to apply to the council for planning consent for change of use, (from fly-tipped dereliction to beautiful garden – hopefully not a difficult planning decision for Hastings development control). Red tape it may be but we need this project on a firm legal footing if it is going to become the winning formula we envisage for tackling the town’s derelict sites. So dusting off my scale rule and set square, I have been preparing some simple plans and answering a multitude of mostly non-applicable questions, (vehicle access, waste disposal, design of windows etc etc). The planning process has been helpful however, in focusing our minds on the tricky issue of boundary fencing. To fence or not to fence? That is the question. We want an open garden which is welcoming to all, but if left unfenced will we find ourselves knee-deep in fly-tipping and dog poo? Or worse – car parking? We have plumped for a low fence. It won’t spoil the open feel of the site but will provide a degree of protection. So the application is now in and a very helpful planner at the council told me it should take about 6 weeks for a decision to be made. That takes us to about the 10th May. We can get on with clearing the site of rubbish and preparing it for the garden before this but once we have planning consent we can really start to create the garden. So the countdown begins…

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