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Community groups seek to make use of packing shed

News | Published:

A PLANNING APPLICATION has been submitted to change a packing shed from its current horticultural use to a unique community space for the Men’s Shed, Makerspace and Edible Guernsey.

Volunteers Derrick Thatcher and Preston Barnard helping to clear the packing shed last year. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin)

The three groups are seeking consent for a temporary change of use to a workshop that encompasses horticultural uses linked to the vinery.

‘Co-locating the three organisations is important to us,’ the application stated.

‘Makerspace brings a very wide range of tools and technology to the site and innovative members with technical skills who are adept at problem solving.

‘Men’s Shed brings a wealth of growing experience to the site, many of our members were growers by trade and are largely a retired community with time on their hands.

‘Edible Guernsey benefits from having access to this wide range of skills for innovation and the facilities to support infrastructural needs.’

The application relates to the northern section of the Sandpiper Vinery which has 10,510sq. m of glasshouses which are no longer commercially viable. The remainder of the site is made up of mostly derelict glasshouses.

For an initial 10-year period, the site was leased by the owner, Osprey Investments, to the Dandelion Group charity in 2012.

This lease has recently been rewritten and extended to 2038. The Dandelion Group has passed a sub-lease – covering the shed only – to Men’s Shed and Makerspace for this period, and is finalising leasing arrangements with Edible Guernsey to lease the greenhouse for a similar 20-year period.

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All planning applications are temporary for the period of the lease.

If approved, the 210sq. m packing shed would be converted into a shared community workshop for the three organisations, providing access to tools and equipment for members who have been through the relevant training.

The packing shed is effectively split into two linked sheds. The north shed would be a ‘noisy, dirty workshop’ for principally woodwork and metalwork.

The south shed would become a ‘clean and quiet’ workspace with areas for art and craftwork, electronics, bicycle maintenance, community meetings and socialising.

The previous derelict office space has been removed and would be replaced by a new combined office and dust-free workspace for computers and 3D printing. A Men’s Shed lounge would also be created for private conversations and reflection.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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