Sunday, June 2, 2013

When is a garden not a garden?

SOLD - Glovers Lane Reserve
Not when it has been sold so rapidly after council deeming it not to be!

Glovers Lane Reserve is not to provide space for recreation, exercise, therapy and education, or provide a catalyst for neighbourhood and community development, or be a preserver of green space, three of the definitions of community gardens by the American Community Garden association.

Ah, Ms Tagalong thought, perhaps Australians have a different definition. Councillor Steve Edmonds certainly does. He says 'there is no garden in Glovers Lane Reserve.' And to make absolutely sure he went back three times to check!

Ms Tagalong went once. It looked like this.

And this.

Councillor McCloy might have a more liberal view, (good choice of words, Ms Tagalong!) But he said, 'I'm in favour of community gardens but not on certainly incredibly valuable land like in that location.'

There's the rub. The next morning after the vote to sell the reserve, the sold sign was up.

Apparently this is a question which has caused ructions not only in our council but overseas too.

In a landmark case in England in 2008, Lord Justice Moses said, 'The Oxford English dictionary states that a garden is an enclosed piece of ground devoted to the cultivation of flowers, fruit or vegetables.

'That definition is clearly too narrow, as the current fashion for wild gardens and meadows amply demonstrates.

'The reality is that no description will categorically establish whether a piece of land is a garden or not. It is incumbent on the fact finder to determine its use.

'It is important to look at the relationship between the owner and the land, and the history and character of the land and space.'

So, sorry Cooks Hill residents, the fact finders said you cannot have a garden to promote a sense of belonging to a community and a sentiment of wanting to give something back. Oh yes you have given the garden back, it has gone to council and so swiftly to a developer.

Maybe RESERVE has another definition too!

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