Decision details

Community Orchard Project

Decision Maker: Community Services

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Community Services submitted a report seeking Committees approval to licence/lease a parcel of council owned land to Ribchester Parish Council, allowing a local group to establish a community orchard.


The Council had received a request from Ribchester Ecology and Flood Group to plant a community orchard on Council land alongside the allotments in Ribchester, as attached to the report. As the group were not a constituted body, it had been indicated that Ribchester Parish Council would be willing to take on responsibility for the licence/lease, therefore allowing the group to establish the orchard. The maintenance responsibilities would also fall to the Parish Council.


Members supported the application, and the suggestion of a licence as opposed to a lease, with a proposed peppercorn rent. Instruction of the valuation office would therefore not be required. Members also supported a licence term of 5 to 10 years given the time required to establish the orchard, which would also allow the Council to conduct review of a licence at end of the agreed term.


The Director of Community Services noted the absence of a policy to guide the Council in dealing with proposals such as this, and recommended a policy be developed for approval by Committee that the Ribchester and Longridge orchards must comply with.  An additional recommendation was agreed by Committee in respect of this.


The Parish Council had raised some confusion on the exact location of the land due to conflicting information however this was clarified after the meeting.




1.     Approve the proposal to licence the land to Ribchester Parish Council to allow a local group to create an orchard, for a period of 5-10 years at a peppercorn rent.


2.     Delegate the drawing up of the agreement with Ribchester Parish Council to the Director of Community Services in consultation with the Chair of Community Committee.


3.     That a policy for future transfers of land for community use be developed for approval by this Committee and that the Ribchester and Longridge Community Orchards must comply fully with this policy.


Publication date: 23/10/2023

Date of decision: 17/10/2023

Decided at meeting: 17/10/2023 - Community Services

Accompanying Documents: