Buxton’s Serpentine Farm submits petition to council

Ruth George has pledged her supprt to help save the Serpentine Community Farm
Ruth George has pledged her supprt to help save the Serpentine Community Farm

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to keep a community farm in Buxton after High Peak Borough Council revealed it was potentially looking to reclaim the site for redevelopment.

Serpentine Community Farm pays the council a peppercorn rent for the land it uses on the site of the council’s former plant nursery at Serpentine Walks but the council said ‘significant financial challenges’ may result in the sale of the plot.

When the controversial news was announced at the end of last year the green-fingered volunteers vowed to fight the news and have since delivered a 1,021-strong petition to Councillor Tony Ashton Leader of High Peak Borough Council.

Volunteers have also submitted an application to register the farm as an asset of community value and will find out if they have been successful next month.

Some of those who signed also spoke out about the importance of the farm.

One supporter said: “The Serpentine Community farm is a wonderful resource for everybody in Buxton. The transformation of the site by the hard working volunteers has proved their commitment and they should be encouraged to develop further - not shut down.”

Another said: “The mammoth effort, time, love and dedication put into the community project simply cannot be allowed to fall victim to more land grab.

“The farm is showing to be a vital tool in educating and informing many members of the community of how easy self sufficiency can be.

All local schools need to have access to community farms like this.”

The Serpentine Community Farm was formed in 2014 after a group of residents had been meeting and researching for several years to find ways to increase food growing in the town.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength holding annual apple days and bringing the community together with various projects throughout the year.

Madeline Hall from the farm said: “I’m delighted with the response from this petition, we have also started an additional petition which Ruth George MP for the High Peak will be taking to parliament in a bid to try and keep the farm.

“The best possible outcome will be the Council decide we can keep the land we have worked so hard to cultivate.”

The Council has said it was looking at the possible sale of some council assets and anticipated applying for planning permission on the farm site.

A High Peak Borough Council spokesperson said: “We’ve received the petition and will consider it in line with our procedures. At present, the Council’s position in relation to this site remains unchanged.”