Allotment holders anxious over plots being lost in development
PUBLISHED: 12:38 27 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010
A DOZEN plots could be lost under a scheme to construct a rail underpass at Coombes Hole in Royston, say allotment holders. Members of the Royston Allotment and Gardens Association have seen plans for the scheme - and are concerned about losing plots when
A DOZEN plots could be lost under a scheme to construct a rail underpass at Coombes Hole in Royston, say allotment holders.
Members of the Royston Allotment and Gardens Association have seen plans for the scheme - and are concerned about losing plots when land at the site is used for the laying of services.
In a statement, the plotholders claim that Herts County Council has "total disregard" for the allotment site.
The statement says: "Twelve plots will be lost. This is nearly 10 per cent of the site and at a time when there are 49 people on the waiting list.
"The demand for allotment plots is growing month by month," says the statement.
Plotholders claim, too, that parking spaces for up to 30 vehicles will be lost in Coombes Hole and that the loss of one point of access will mean "plotholders on one side of the site will not be able to deliver manure and other items to their plots without a long walk".
The association says that the plans can be altered so that the allotments are not "badly affected".
It said that services needed for the scheme could be placed under a proposed road and cycleway.
The plans - which have been seen by The Crow - were drawn up in March and have the word "draft" stamped across one corner.
Part of the plan shows a road leading down Coombes Hole from Green Street and then a stretch which will be used as a path and a cycleway.
The allotment site is owned by Royston Town Council
It is understood that the county council has not approached the town council about the underpass plans for Coombes Hole or discussed using land on the allotment site for part of the development.
The town council was, however, consulted over the location of the underpass when the county council saw the choice of the development between the Coombes Hole site or providing the rail crossing from the Burns Road development to the junction of Green Street and Morton Street.
Meanwhile, Royston county councillor Doug Drake told The Crow yesterday (Wednesday): "It is unfortunate, to say the least, that when schemes are still being designed enter the public arena. It causes much concern.
"On the more positive side this is no way a final scheme and will require some refinement before it gains any local approval," he said.