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Policy G8 Food growing

G8

  1. In Development Plans, boroughs should:
    1. protect existing allotments and encourage provision of space for community gardening, including for food growing, within new developments
    2. identify potential sites that could be used for commercial food production.

Providing land for food growing helps to support the creation of a healthier food environment. At the local scale, it can help promote more active lifestyles and better diets, and improve food security. Community food growing not only helps to improve social integration and community cohesion, but can also contribute to improved mental and physical health and wellbeing.

As provision for small-scale food growing becomes harder to deliver, innovative solutions to its delivery should be considered, such as green roofs and walls, re-utilising existing under-used spaces and incorporating spaces for food growing in new schools.

At a more macro scale, providing land for food growing helps to support farming and agriculture. Providing food closer to source helps to create a sustainable food network for the city, supports the local economy, and reduces the need to transport food, thereby reducing transport emissions and helping to address climate change. There are also longer-term biodiversity benefits, and farmers adopting agri-environmental stewardship schemes are more likely to deliver good environmental practice. For all food growing, consideration should be given to the historic use of the land and any potential contamination.

The Mayor’s Food Strategy prioritises the need to help all Londoners to be healthier and for the food system to have less of a negative environmental impact.

The Capital Growth network is London’s food growing network, which continues to promote community food growing across the capital, as well as delivering food-growing skills and employment opportunities for Londoners.