Al­lot of is­sues for grow­ers with new site

Tameside Advertiser - - VIEWPOINTS -

Dean Kirby

Now, the 17 ten­ants are call­ing on Old­ham coun­cil, which de­vel­oped the new site and con­structed green­houses and sheds for the grow­ers, to give them com­pen­sa­tion.

Ian Wade, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s sec­re­tary, said: “The sheds are lovely, but we just can’t grow any­thing with this soil.

“Peo­ple have paid for their plots and are look­ing for­ward to the grow­ing sea­son and they should be given com­pen­sa­tion.”

Michael Fyson, 77, who has won more than a dozen awards since he took up a plot in 2004, said: “The coun­cil have done a de­cent job on the site but the soil is just rub­bish. It’s full of wa­ter too.

“I’ve been dig­ging some trenches to drain it and have had to bale out with a bucket. We won’t be able to grow any­thing of any qual­ity here.”

The al­lot­ments were moved as part of a plan to re­de­velop the nearby Lan­caster Club off Broad­way into a ‘gar­den sub­urb’.

The devel­op­ment will in­clude 142 homes, with the Grade II-listed club turned into apart­ments.

A five-a-side foot­ball pitch will be built on the for­mer al­lot­ments as part of the devel­op­ment.

Old­ham coun­cil said last month that work was un­der way to re­lo­cate the al­lot­ments and was due to be com­pleted in May.

April is the month when al­lot­ment grow­ers across the coun­try are busy tend­ing to their plots ahead of the grow­ing sea- son. They have a limited win­dow to plant their fruit and veg­eta­bles and miss­ing it would spell dis­as­ter for this year’s crop.

Elaine McLean, Old­ham coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec- tor for econ­omy and skills, said: “Is­sues have been raised by Broad­way Al­lot­ments As­so­ci­a­tion re­gard­ing a num­ber of plots at the new site and we are work­ing closely with the group to ad­dress th­ese mat­ters. We are car­ry­ing out soil testing in the com­ing days to es­tab­lish the cause of the stand­ing wa­ter and how we can im­prove the sit­u­a­tion for the plot hold­ers.”

●● Michael Fyson, left, and Ian Wade at the new ‘sub-stan­dard’ al­lot­ments

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