Establish Food Belts around all major settlements as a planning policy

There is a significant gap in our planning system - it does not relate to food and in many ways has and continues to undermine our ability to grow, access and afford food.  Therefore, there is a significant opportunity to do something different.

All local development plans should have policies and zones allocated for Food Belts.  These will also  replace  increasingly redundant battlefield Green Belts with urgently needed a positive alternative that inspires and innovates.  

Settlements will have land in the peri-rural (failed areas previously called peri-urban) fringe on good quality farmland allocated as Food Belts for the purpose of creating resilient local food systems, economies, 1000s of jobs and training opportunities.  Drawing from inspirational, engaged and sustainable examples from around the world, Food Belts will be multifunctonal, integrating the building of community and place, the creation of new livelihoods, homes rather than houses, providing local energy, sustainable transport options, reduced commuting, repair diminishing biodiversity, tackle climate change.  

Food Belts will create envelopes that help farmers link to local markets in our large poplulation centres and neighbouring communities.  Community supported farming and market gardens along with many food processing social enterprises will be encouraged and supported all along the food chains, providing a significant contribution to Scotland's Food and Drink sector.  Community growing will be upscaled, seeing community, lowland crofts established.  Sustainable public food procurement and meeting Public Bodies Duties will be faciliated.

By 2030 there will be 5 Food Belts in Scotland.  Never mind asking 'what is stopping these being created?' Instead,  the question is 'how can the planning system through the Bill expedite the idea of Food Belts becoming reality?'


Why the contribution is important

So much development eating up good quality farmland.  Its a finite resource.  The annual, on-going loss is not being documented or reported. Yet, local development plans continue to allow such land to be taken away for ever. Timebomb. Farming sector facing massive difficulties with average age 58, few new recruits and access to land for new farmers or community growers problematic because of inflated land prices due to development and landbanking by developers. Significant community growing sector emerging and great potential to contribute to create local food systems/economies.  Need to link farmers to local communities and in this spaces create many new job opportunties in food growing, processing, distribution and servicing, including micro dairies, bakeries, cooperatives and etail outlets. Especially in peri-rural areas.  Create positive connections and futures that link land, people, local economies, communities and food.  Many examples major crops failiures due to extreme weather likely to continue due to rapid climate change, with resultant significant food price hikes. Food poverty rising - even in Scotland.  Food belts will help reduce need for emergency food aid - in Scotland, and reduce our impact on creating food poverty in other countries. Food Belts, based on the principles of food sovereinty will provide local affordable, accessible, nutritious food helping Scotand meet its obligations on the right to food and commitment to Sustainable Development Goals and a major step towards how planning can help Scotland become a Good Food Nation.

by JulianHolbrook on March 02, 2018 at 03:42PM

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