The plot thickens

PUBLISHED: 11:20 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 May 2010

I am writing on behalf of The Royston Allotments and Gardens Association (RAGA) to express our concern and disgust at the recent developments in the planning of the railway crossing. We have been in regular consultation with the officers at Hertfordshire

I am writing on behalf of The Royston Allotments and Gardens Association (RAGA) to express our concern and disgust at the recent developments in the planning of the railway crossing.

We have been in regular consultation with the officers at Hertfordshire County Council over various details of the crossing and have been given many assurances and promises.

We are not opposed to the construction of this crossing. Although there might be some disadvantage to us, there would also be many advantages, and it is obviously a benefit to the town as a whole.

Our concerns are limited to the affect the construction work will have on our Green Street site. We have previously received assurances from a Royston town councillor that the Green Street site would not be affected by the construction. These assurances were also given at the public consultation exhibition held at the Burns Road Community Centre in March of this year to both our committee members and various plot holders.

We have now been informed that Hertfordshire County Council will compulsory purchase a strip of land inside the site which is currently used as allotments and as a site for our clubhouse. The loss of this land will obviously decrease the number of allotments available. A vague promise has been made that the land will eventually be returned, but in view of other broken promises we are not too sure. If it is returned in what state will it be?

The displaced plot holders will be offered different allotments when and if any become available. We are also very concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge and that further land will be compulsory purchased to accommodate the construction requirements and the relocation of the buildings on the strip of land already earmarked. All of this is, of course, taking place when we are constantly being urged by various bodies to "Dig for Victory" and grow our own vegetables.

Royston has a thriving allotment site with a waiting list of approximately 70 residents requiring a plot. The town council has decided not to allocate any further plots to people on the waiting list until the current situation has been resolved. So the 70 people on the waiting list will have to wait a lot longer!

We hope that common sense will prevail and our plot holders will be looked after rather better

Tony Churchman

RAGA chairman.

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