Agrivillages: A vision of living and working in the countryside
Affordable housing combined with land to make a living from
There is an urgent need for more sustainable farming methods to be employed worldwide. The agricultural industry also needs to be made accessible to the younger generation. Our concept of Agrivillages aims to address both these needs.
The Agrivillage idea
Agrivillages are designed to create attractive new communities that provide affordable, high-quality housing, together with useful, rewarding work. They will produce good, healthy food and make best use of the adjacent land, increasing productivity whilst maintaining and enhancing fertility, thus encouraging biodiversity. Their social and commercial appeal is designed to ensure that planners will approve them as ‘regenerative settlements’, therefore benefiting landowners, investors and future residents alike.
In addition to this, Agrivillages will seek to:
- facilitate the development of smallholdings and family farms; helping to maintain existing small farms and preserving traditional farming knowledge
- obtain high levels of productivity through diversification of production, labour intensification and adopting organic and agro-ecological farming systems
- create opportunities for useful, satisfying and rewarding work on the land for young people
Agrivillages are designed to meet these objectives, as well as the needs of residents and local communities by:
- providing a central hub to the village, consisting of a high-density complex of attractive, energy-efficient houses and cottages of different sizes and specifications
- achieving essential critical mass by initially offering no less than 100 units, with space available to build more accommodation at a later stage
- providing access to at least 200 acres of adjacent cultivable land. Variable sized plots will be made available to the inhabitants of the village for the production of a wide range of food crops
- encouraging and supporting enterprises associated with the processing and marketing of food products grown on the surrounding land (e.g. shops, restaurants, market place, dairy, bakery, butchery, abattoir, AD plant etc.)
- offering access to agricultural research and technical advice to facilitate collaboration in carrying out practical small-scale farming research projects
- providing energy self-sufficiency, or as near to as possible, through on-site generation of renewable energy from solar, wind and biogas installations
- installing efficient telecommunications systems to enable residents to work from home in a wide range of occupations, avoiding the need to commute. Good public transport links will be provided to the nearest market towns
- where appropriate, offering holiday cottages, rooms and apartments to meet the increasing demand for UK holidays, thus providing another income stream for residents.
The first agrivillage, known as “inHarmony”, is being planned for a brown-field site in Millom, Cumbria – www.in-harmony.co.
Funding for Agrivillage development
CFT intends helping to facilitate the creation of new Agrivillages through the establishment of a National Natural Capital Conservation Fund (NNCCF). The fund will offer large investors such as pension funds, investment trusts, social investors and others, the opportunity to invest in the equity of agricultural land and well-designed, long-lasting buildings in newly developed Agrivillages. Investors in NNCCF will benefit from long-term capital appreciation, combined with the security normally associated with this category of investment.
The emphasis will be on long-term capital appreciation rather than on high dividends and on equity investment rather than loans.
If you would like further information about Agrivillages, or would like to speak to one of the team, please call us on 020 8191 7654 or get in touch below.