Funding for design work on the Speckled Wood section of the Ore Valley Greenway
We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £10,000 from the NE Hastings Big Local fund to cover the survey, engineering assessment and overall design work for the section of the Greenway – walking, cycling and disabled access route – that would run from Frederick Road up to Victoria Avenue.
In addition the grant will cover a community consultation exercise for all other sections of the planned Ore Valley Greenway network from Ore Station to the Ridge.
We hope that this design project will be completed by early summer.
The Speckled Wood Greenway design report and construction costing will enable Ore CLT and the Hastings Greenway Group to argue for East Sussex CC to include this route in the funding allocation for the Hastings Walking & Cycling Network.
Contact with Speckled Wood land owners
We have made a start on our plan to acquire land in Speckled Wood. Before Xmas a letter was sent, via Hastings Borough Council, to all landowners to offer to meet with them and explain our aims – to create a community woodland and develop projects such as the Greenway and the Village Green.
We have now met with a trustee for a large plot of land which will be needed for the Greenway route and he was positive about our aims and agreed to discuss land purchase later in the year.
Ore CLT involvement in a new Project in the Lower Ore Valley
We were invited to join a project group, led by Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust, which is proposing a community self build housing and workspace project for the Old Power Station site in the Lower Ore Valley. The aim is to use a radical approach to involve local people to plan and construct the buildings and also to install the section of Greenway route from Ore Station to Broomgrove Road.
Volunteer team working in Speckled Wood
A small group of volunteers has been working in Speckled Wood over the last few months to repair steps, rebuild bridges and improve the footpaths through Speckled Wood. They meet on Fridays at 10am, weather permitting.
If you would like to assist please contact Derek – tel: 432292
Ore Community Land Trust members, supporters and local councillors attended the Trust’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday 13th June and celebrated the final stage in the successful 10 year campaign to save Speckled Wood.
The recent publication of the Planning Inspector’s final recommendations for the Hastings Development Management Plan have confirmed that almost all of Speckled Wood in the Upper Ore Valley will now become protected urban green space.
In what is without doubt a very enlightened assessment, the Planning Inspector’s report recognises the importance of this woodland valley as an attractive and tranquil area of natural beauty and the how much it is valued by the local community. He has gone further than the Borough Council’s allocation of green space and he has stated that the value of retaining this open land for the community outweighs its previous allocated use for housing development.
They heard that the Planning Inspector was influenced by the Trust’s plans to protect animal habitats, to create a small Village Green with disabled access and a children’s play area and to set up a community food growing project by reinstating disused allotments.
However, the well attended meeting was told that the Trust must now recruit more committee members to take on this new role and more volunteers to take on the footpath clearance and woodland management. It will soon be applying for funding to develop into an organisation focused on acquiring land and working on a long term plan to enhance the woodland and provide new community amenities. Discussions are underway with Hastings Borough Council about how the two organisations can work together to transform Speckled Wood into an even more valuable community asset.
After the AGM, landscape architect, Jeremy Linden, who has been working with Ore Community Land Trust gave a presentation on the Village Green and the Ore Valley Greenway projects.
Ian Sier, of Ore Community land Trust, said “This AGM marks the successful conclusion of our primary aim
to save Speckled Wood and avoid another area of valuable urban green space being lost to development. It is the result of a sustained campaign supported by individuals, organisations and local councillors and of having a clear vision for how this woodland can be enhanced and provide so much more for residents of Ore and the surrounding area
We must now get on with the challenge of obtaining funding, acquiring the land, which is in multiple ownership. We will continue to involve all sections of the local community in how it is enhanced and managed to preserve the woodland habitat while providing new facilities such as a Village Green for Ore – our first project”.
Anyone who supports the campaign and the aims of Ore Community Land Trust is encouraged to become a member and get involved in the next stage of our work. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Ore CLT, Ore Centre, 455 Old London Road, Hastings, TN35 5BH.
Hastings Development Management Plan
Extract from – Planning Inspectors Final Report May 2015
Focus Area 12 – Clive Vale & Ore Village
121. The 2 sites identified, CVO1 and CVO3, should be kept in their open state and the Trust encouraged to manage and enhance this local community asset.
We have produced a template to make it easy to respond to the official consultation and make sure the Inspector is in no doubt about the support of local residents for his proposal to safeguard both the Victoria Avenue site (Modification MM8, Site CV01) and the land to rear of Old London Road (Modification MM9, Site CV03).
Template for responding
You may like to use the suggested text here.