ALLOTMENTS: Sacrifices had to be made for housing

The allotments at Berwick.
The allotments at Berwick.

The article about allotments on Tom Pattinson’s page in the Gazette makes some good points about the threat to the national allotment movement posed by housing development, but the comment about the Alnmouth allotments does not give the full story.

True, there are houses where once Alnmouth residents grew vegetables, but recently only one allotment was being seriously cultivated and large areas of the site had returned to scrub.

The former Boys’ Club site on the other side of the Foxton Road from the allotments was being developed for housing by Northumberland Estates and the parish council worked with them to provide much-needed affordable housing on the site.

This meant accepting that some of the allotment area would have to be sacrificed for housing, but the remainder would be restored and laid out to give 12 smaller plots much more suited to today’s leisure gardeners.

This has now been done; all the plots have new tenants and they moved in on March 1. So there will now be more vegetable production on the Alnmouth Allotments site than we have seen for many years.

We also have seven beautiful new homes at affordable rents, all with very happy tenants whom we are delighted to welcome to our village.

Of course, we would have preferred to keep all of the old allotments, have them upgraded and improved, and have the affordable housing as well.

It would also have been nice to have kept the Boys’ Club in community use.

Unfortunately, having our cake and eating it was not one of the available options and so, in the regrettable absence of Utopia, the parish council is very pleased indeed with the outcomes of the Foxton Road development.

Bill Bourne,

Chairman,

Alnmouth Parish Council