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London's food supply danger—we must grow more, says City Hall

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 05 October 2010

LONDON is too dependent on imported food with long supply' chains in danger of disruption, City Hall has been told. Existing farms in and around London are facing threats from other land uses such as housing and recreation that may reduce the amount of food produced locally even further, the London Assembly fears.

By Mike Brooke

LONDON is too dependent on imported food with long 'supply' chains in danger of disruption, City Hall has been told.

Existing farms in and around London are facing threats from other land uses such as housing and recreation that may reduce the amount of food produced locally even further, the London Assembly fears.

Rooftops and derelict land where food can be grown should be identified for commercial food growing, the Assembly's planning committee suggests.

The planning system needs to 'prioritise' agriculture as land use in the Green Belt, allowing farmers to modernise and adapt to up-to-date production, Assembly members urge.

"Our dependency on imported food places us in a vulnerable position," said committee chair Jenny Jones. "We only have three or four days food supply in the event that supplies dry up like they did during the fuel crisis."

The Assembly is looking into what changes could be made to the planning system to foster agriculture and encourage more food to be commercially grown.

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