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Council agrees long lease with Serpentine Community Farm

The future of the Serpentine Community Farm (SCF) in Buxton has been secured for at least a quarter of a century after the Borough Council agreed to grant a new lease.

The land at Serpentine Depot was formerly used by High Peak Borough Council as a horticultural depot and greenhouses.

SCF - soon to be the Serpentine Community Garden - has occupied the site since 2015 under a short-tem licence agreement but this new lease means the volunteers will be able to use the land for the next 25 years.

The Council has also approved an agreement to lease the buildings on the site pending further investigation of their condition and a sustainable plan being put together by the group for their restoration. The agreement allows SCF to develop their plans for the buildings, and apply for funding to put them in place, for a period of up to six years.

Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader of the Council, said: "We are pleased to be able to agree this lease which offers SCF some longer-term assurance that they can continue to use this land to provide the valuable horticultural opportunities they offer to the local community.

"This new agreement also puts in place time for the group to consider plans on how to secure the funding that is needed to restore and bring back into use the buildings on the site - funding that the Council doesn't have available or is able to access on its own.

"The SCF volunteers are dedicated, enthusiastic and hard working and have, over the past five years, brought new life to the old Council plant nursery converting it from a derelict site to a real community asset. They have ambitious plans for further growth over the coming years that we will continue to support and that we wish every success to."