Allotments plan review as demand grows

PUBLISHED: 12:29 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 21:45 31 May 2010

A GROWING demand for allotments in Saffron Walden could mean that more land around the town is put aside for people to grow their own produce. Saffron Walden Town Council is considering turning an area of land at the back of the Lord Butler Leisure Centre

A GROWING demand for allotments in Saffron Walden could mean that more land around the town is put aside for people to grow their own produce.

Saffron Walden Town Council is considering turning an area of land at the back of the Lord Butler Leisure Centre on Peaslands Road into a new allotment with 20 plots.

Paul Garland from the Saffron Walden Community Interest Company (SWCIC), which promotes sustainable food grown locally, said: "The demand for allotments has certainly increased and it would be brilliant if the town council could free up more land for that use.

"From our recent survey we know there are long waiting lists to get an allotment - there is a great movement now for people to grow their own food."

Before the Lord Butler site can be approved, a planning application will have to be submitted to Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

Allotments in the town are run by the town council and UDC, as well as being privately managed, and some have waiting lists of more than two years.

The town council currently lets 66 plots at two different sites; one on Byrds Farm Lane and the other on Little Walden Road. There is a waiting list of about 80 people.

The district council runs a total of 46 plots in five different allotments around the town and there is a privately managed site at Windmill Hill.

For more details about allotments in and around Saffron Walden visit the SWCIC's website at www.waldenlocalfood.co.uk

Allotment holder and town mayor, Cllr Mike Hibbs, said: "I think people get a lot of satisfaction from growing their own food and it tastes better for it.

"I am currently trying to set up an allotment society, which includes council-run as well as private allotments, to help provide better facilities on the sites such as sanitation. It would also be there to offer advice, supply seed and pest control and generally promote the idea.

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