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Forest Garden and Wildlife project, East Sussex

Planning Aid helped Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife project secure planning permission for a new building in 2016.  The project provides educational support for pupils struggling at school, as well as learning and social facilities for people of all abilities including gardening, cooking, bushcraft skills and wildlife studies

Our volunteer, Emma Pearman, provided planning support for the project after their original building had burned down and they were constructing a replacement.  Emma recalls:

"My first job was to establish what they needed to do in terms of providing supporting information for the planning application.  This involved checking any designations on the site, as they were very close to the South Downs National Park and other sites with ecological designations, and also going through the Council’s validation list and the information that the project already had.  The result was a long list of information that they needed to compile – which was initially quite daunting for them! Unfortunately at the beginning they did not have many plans that were sufficient quality to submit for planning, and they did not have funds for a professional architect.  Given their location they also had to arrange and submit a biodiversity survey.

However, they managed to find an architect to help them with their plans and an ecologist, and I assisted in working with the architect on the plans to make sure they were suitable for submission.  I also wrote the planning statement for them to bring all the information together and point out the benefits of the project to the community.

….The application was approved in July 2016 and as such the charity were able to carry on and finish their building work.  I was happy to have helped such a worthwhile cause gain planning permission for a key part of their site, so they can continue to provide such valuable support to the local community.