I have been trying to do something about this site since I moved here two years ago. I suggested a Community garden/allotment in a blog many years ago and one of the allotment owners came forward and tried to get a community allotment off the ground. The allotment owner cleared his site, turned it over and the public didn’t get behind him.
Since then there has been talk of a community group taking over two of the allotments and renovating them. Peter Rawlinson is one of the allotment owners and the other is the owner of the Butterfly farm. I don’t believe this will ever happen or be sustainable.
I think a good proportion of the allotment owners are holding onto the land, hoping to get planning permission to build on it. But due to the main drain running at angles across this, it isn’t going to be that worthwhile and profitable anyway. They aren’t going to be able to build lots of starter homes or a flat complex.
I would like to see all the allotment owners give their land to the community, in a Land Trust. I am not sure how we could get them to do this? It really depends on how much they paid for the land, but I suspect the land was acquired cheaply. This would then result in grants being available to clean up and develop this land into a community asset.
Parkland and bandstand
I don’t want to see more houses built here, we need a breathing space for people. What I would like to see is the allotment site turned into a park area, where children can play and people relax. I think it would also be a great place to have a Bandstand for the local colliery band to play and for visiting bands to come.
Victoria st gates access
I think it is also unfair on Victoria st residents that the public currently encroaches, on their service rd, dropping litter, the resultant antisocial behaviour and thefts from the back ends of properties, especially garages. I think this area of land needs gating off as per Scarsdale St and Leicester rd. It seems unfair that residents on other gated streets think they can use the Victoria st road as a short cut. This will also secure down one side of the allotments.
This is the current state of the allotment site.
Have you any better ideas for this land?