Creating an environmentally eco-friendly, sustainable, vibrant and unique green oasis in the heart of our urban area. Improving the look and feel of our community, encouraging and developing greener and cleaner activities to help reduce pollution, carbon footprint and increase happiness, health and wellbeing. The Community Garden and café will also be a creative space for locally based and upcoming artists to deliver theatrical, musical and art community programmes and live performances.
The Community Garden and Café will be based at Cranford Community College. The garden will provide opportunities for local residents to get more involved with the local area, learn new skills and offer voluntary work. In addition, we will have a new café, outdoor theatre space, allotments and play areas. The community garden will also enable local business to engage and sponsor equipment to help provide maintenance income and sustainability. The garden will act as one of our main legacy goals for the Big Local for future generations to enjoy.
The Community Allotment within the garden however will be accessible all year round and encourage residents to work together to grow their own vegetables. We will organise a launch party once the allotment raised beds have been built and monitor the progress throughout the year and link our weekly family cooking club to the project.
Through our community garden will empower people to take ownership by providing opportunities for people to lead on projects. We hope to relieve stress and increase sense of wellness. We will do this by getting people active, which improves overall physical health. In addition, to providing social opportunities that build a sense of community and belonging and finally giving residents and young people an opportunity to learn and share knowledge on gardening, nature, and cooking.
Our community garden will also be great for the environment. Food grown locally reduces greenhouse gases produced by long distance transportation of food. Our garden will also contribute to biodiversity of species and help to support populations of pollinators. Finally, our community garden will bring people together which we hope may reduce crime rates in our area by increasing visibility and engaging residents and young people in positive initiatives. The garden will also provide an inclusive meeting area where people of all ages and cultural backgrounds can come together to share experiences and knowledge.
Before the Covid-19 Pandemic, we started work on clearing the conservation area (the site for the Community Garden and Café). We engaged with over 50 residents during the clear up and held a community consultation – discussing and planning our garden and legacy plans. A few months later, we started the process to dig up the site and level the ground, preparing for the foundations. However, when the pandemic struck, our plans were put on hold. During this period, we worked on our planning application for the garden, but due to challenges finding a planning consultant, our plans were again on hold.
Another year passed, we finally recruited MZA Planning Consultants to support us with our planning application. We submitted our pre-planning application in January 2022 with Hounslow Council and after a lengthy battle with the planning department, we received feedback on our application. A few more assessments were required before we could submit for planning. These included: ecological, water and sewage and environmental reports.
March 2023 Update:
We are currently working on our developing our final planning application with MZA Planning Consultants. We aim to submit in April 2023 and we will start tendering process.