The petition was received at last month’s Full Council meeting and has been backed by local LibDem MP Steve Webb, who has written to the Council in support of the campaigners.
Under the 1908 Act, a Council is obliged to take such a petition into account when deciding if there are sufficient allotments available to meet demand.
With no current allotment provision in Bradley Stoke, residents have traditionally taken allotments in neighbouring areas such as Patchway or Stoke Gifford. However, both of these areas now have a policy of giving priority to their own residents when assigning available plots.
A recent decision by Patchway Town Council to charge non-residents three times the standard (residents’) rate for use of its allotments is understood to have triggered the Bradley Stoke petition.
BSTC Clerk, Davd Chandler, reported to last week’s Planning Committee that there are currently 16 Bradley Stoke residents leasing allotments in Patchway with a further 15 residents on the waiting list in Stoke Gifford (where there is currently no surcharge for non-residents). Taking 32 tenants as the minimum potential demand gives a requirement for at least two acres of land, assuming a standard plot size of 1/16th of an acre.
With no suitable land available within the boundaries of Bradley Stoke, the Council is going to have to look further afield. Councillors expressed the hope that South Gloucestershire Council might be able to provide an appropriate parcel of land at a “peppercorn rent”, with sites at Old Gloucester Road and Trench Lane being suggested as possibilities.
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