A number of Ernesettle sites are being transferred to a community owned trust with the aim of providing jobs, green energy, learning and training opportunities, opportunities for community activity and improved community services and facilities.
Plymouth City Council is transferring the land off Ernesettle Lane to Four Greens Community Trust (FGCT) to give local people more control over the proposed activities and generate an income stream for the FGCT to enable it to become a sustainable economic asset.
FGCT was set up to address the city’s historically low business startup rate by creating space & support for local businesses to get off the ground, as well as strengthen community connections and support across four neighbourhoods.
The transfer includes land that has been developed on to provide a solar array which has been delivered by PEC Renewables and the council. This follows on from FGCT’s ongoing conversion of the former Whitleigh Care Home into the FGCT HQ & Community and Business Hub due to open in the summer of 2016.
It also includes transfer of a Community Allotment site at Rochford Crescent where residents will be able to grow fresh fruit and vegetables, cook together and hold community events and is a successful example of engaging local people and empowering them in the positive use of previously underutilised public open space. Many local people and groups have already helped develop the project and have offered volunteer support.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Co-operatives and Housing said: “We are delighted to be able to transfer these assets in Ernesettle to FGCT who have already made a huge difference to the local community and economy with their first project in Whitleigh. This addition to their asset portfolio will enable the FGCT to realise their aim of serving both the Ernesettle and Whitleigh neighbourhoods, and, with income generated help them explore further initiatives to serve the other neighbourhoods of Honicknowle and Manadon.
“The solar array will not only create jobs and improve community facilities but also provide renewable energy to power equivalent of 1000 homes & could also provide a 6% return on investment for the public, when community shares in the scheme are offered later in the year. The allotment will benefit the local community and also improve people’s health & wellbeing by providing easier access to fresh fruit & vegetables.”
The transfer is expected to be complete by December 2016 subject to a detailed business case & transfer from PCC by way of a grant of a lease to FGCT for a period of 35 years at a peppercorn rental.