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Could dark clouds threaten...


Hi all and it’s great to be back and read other members’ blogs. As always sheer delight from photos and anecdotes.
I’ve not been around much again due to work, work and more work. Honestly, I’m tired of working other people’s gardens then getting back to mine garden and allotment, especially in this heat.

So what’s the news? Well today I was watering the allotment (as always these days) when I bumped in to the chair of our site, who was frantically strimming unused plots (two) where the grass had grown too long. I wondered over to say hello and catch up. The thing he told me was this, ‘the council are doing a spot check tomorrow and I reckon they want to close the site down as they need to build more houses’.

I can’t tell you how much this disheartened me hearing that. Recently the council have built over so many areas local to me. Flats, houses, offices and so on. The site I’m at isn’t at 100% usage unfortunately but with a privately owned allotment site that’s under threat nearby already and houses being built left, right and centre, where are we all supposed to grow our own? I walked away with courgettes, onions and broad beans today. Enough to feed my family for a while thus saving money and being good to the environment. Why are people like us being punished?

It sounds strange to mention but one of my favourite films is Star Trek: First Contact. Why? Because Captain Picard mentions that money is no longer important in the future world. Wish it were so right now as I’m sure it’s down to money (as well as government pressures) that our site is being threatened.

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Sad how the world is heading. There is always a ready excuse for the powers-that-be to do something, build new roads, houses, windfarms or in the case of Norfolk - an incinerator.
They never take into account the views or needs of the locals, they build huge estates, close together housing, nothing to do for the teens and then wonder why they turn into horror estates.
I must admit I would rather a windfarm than a housing estate, though the air pressure kills the bats - so you can't win!
Long may you and fellow allotmenteers hold on to your little bit of a sanctuary, perhaps you could all club together and plant a crop of some sort to make it look as if the allotments are all in use.

17 Jul, 2013


Thank you for the words of support. I've been drowning my sorrows planting in the poly tunnel. We've already had so much building work here that the local schools can either take no more children or do a double intake. Madness.

I've got a ten pole and a five pole on the local allotment site and will definitely make my voice heard if the council choose to close the site!

As for a greener area where I live, well, there's not much I'm afraid. We have a river that runs through the town and that could produce a fair bit of electricity but the council aren't interested. Instead, they are spending money on blokes with blowers, who just spend their days blowing dust off the paths and on to the roads. Hmmm.

17 Jul, 2013


That is dreadful - been there, done that - had to leave all my mature fruit bushes behind. They did give us an unploughed field as compensation, which we had to start from scratch, but better than nothing. And 15 years later it is still unbuilt on...what a waste. Is your society planning to lobby for a replacement site even if you have to travel a bit to reach it if you lose (heaven forbid)?

17 Jul, 2013


Contact the National Association of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners at Hunters Road, Corby, Northants for help.

19 Jul, 2013


Hi all,

Well, I've spoken to the chairman and here's the news so far: the inspection hasn't happened yet as it was postponed. Now due this Thurs. Apparently, it is the one man who always complains to the council that sets off an inspection and this man is already in trouble himself for cutting down a tree and dumping it (so the story goes so far). A few years ago the allotment community had all unrented plots looked to prevent overgrown sites, after a while the council stopped the money for that because they offered to keep the plots clear. That never happened! So it's effectively the council's fault in my eyes.

As for hearing about your plot, Steragram, I'm disappointed to hear that you were never properly compensated for the loss of your original allotment. I too have perennials in the form of an ornamental herb garden, fruit trees and soft fruit bushes and would be gutted to have to lose all that should the decision be made to build housing on the site.

Diane, I will try your suggestion should there be a negative outlook!

Will keep you all posted x

23 Jul, 2013


Dont wait for the negative outlook. Contact the National Association at Corby and keep them informed. They are quite used to dealing with these problems, do it all the time. They have the legal information you need.

That one man you are concerned about is probably a Planning Officer looking for disused plots to build houses to justify his job. We used to get them every 4 years, snooping about with their clip boards, writing down what is being grown on each plot.

If there is a waiting list for Council Houses, your council should look for older properties to renovate as there is Govt Grant Money available to employ builders to do this. Have they got an Empty Properties Officer ?

Your Allotment Chairman should know all this. Sometimes they tend to be a bit dreamy.

24 Jul, 2013

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