Town & Village Renewal – Acquisition of Land for Community ProjectsPosted on: 12/08/2023
In May 2021, Dónal McCormack and Maeve Foreman of Community Gardens Ireland presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, and the Islands.
Our presentation contained a list of issues surrounding the provision of allotments and community gardens in Ireland and included a proposal for a fund to be made available for local authorities to purchase land for community use.
The committee did not include this recommendation at the time.
There was another consultation by the Joint Oireachtas Committee in May 2023 and we made the below submission, which again included a fund for local authorities to purchase land for community use, along with seed libraries to be set up throughout Ireland through the library system.
In July, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme was announced for 2023. As part of the scheme, a new section has been added to allow local authorities to purchase land for community purposes:
“In recognition of the need for outdoor community spaces one application may be used for the acquisition of land in town centres which supports Local Authorities for the development of town regeneration / community focused projects (to include possibly town parks / plazas, the development of surrounding properties already in Local Authority ownership etc).
This is a new option introduced under the 2023 TVRS.”https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/01125e-town-and-village-renewal-scheme/#the-2023-town-and-village-renewal-scheme
This is a hugely positive move for communities all over Ireland and we wish to thank members of the committee for listening to our call for this to fund to be introduced.
We now urge community groups from all over Ireland to contact your local authority about land that you believe could be purchased to be put to community use. This could include derelict properties that may have ample gardens that could be transformed into a community garden or allotments, idle or vacant land, or surplus plots of land in urban areas.
We also believe this move will have a similar positive impact for men’s sheds, women’s sheds, community orchards and other community groups who are struggling to access facilities in urban areas.
Check out your local authority website for more details on applying for the fund.