Town Council looks to kick-start allotment land search


Bradley Stoke Town Council is to place press advertisements for land suitable for allotments after South Gloucestershire Council failed to come up with any potential sites after more than 18 months of searching.

The Town Council became obliged to act after a number of electors, backed by local MP Steve Webb, submitted a petition in November 2008 calling on it to provide allotments for the residents of Bradley Stoke.

With no suitable sites within the town’s boundaries, the Council then agreed to ask SGC if it could provide an appropriate parcel of land at a “peppercorn rent”, with sites at Old Gloucester Road and Trench Lane being suggested as possibilities.

Almost two years on, SGC has failed to come up with a single proposal, claiming that “everything is on hold” because of uncertainties over the provision of gypsy and traveller sites in the district.

Frustration boiled over at last month’s meeting of Full Council, where Cllr Julian Barge described SGC as having been “totally inept” in dealing with the allotment land issue.

Approaches to the neighbouring parishes of Patchway and Stoke Gifford, which both provide allotments within their boundaries, have also come to nought.

Councillors have now decided to take matters into their own hands, with Cllrs Brian Hopkinson and Sarah Pomfret reporting that they have already been talking to local landowners and farmers to try to find suitable land.

The Council also agreed to place an advert for land to rent (or even buy) in the agricultural section of the Western Daily Press but there was no support for Cllr Jon Williams’ proposal of using a compulsory purchase order to acquire allotment land.

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  1. I was disappointed that Patchway Town Council had a change of heart about “outsiders” using their allotments sites. Were Bradley Stoke Town councillors, who are also Patchway Town councillors present when this decision was made?

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t be at the Town Council meeting that night, because I could then have explained that my proposal, which included asking South Gloucestershire Council to be more proactive in finding suitable land, also gave the council the teeth of complusory purchase which, from my research is the way that many town and parish councils acquire land for allotments from local farmers.

  2. At long last, progress is being made so well done to those who have actively campaigned – I trust our new MP will also lend his assistance? Fingers crossed some good will come of it after all these years.

    However was I the only one who inwardly groaned at the statement from South Glos that ” “everything is on hold” because of uncertainties over the provision of gypsy and traveller sites in the district”. One only has to look at the way those particular people treat the land they are given to know there’s an imbalance here.

  3. Jon’s comments that Patchway Town Council has had a change of Heart, is simply not true. Patchway was asked two years ago by myself if they would consider a partnership with Bradley Stoke for the allotments they have in Patchway. Some 18 Bradley Stoke Residents currently use the allotments in Patchway and even more Bradley Stoke Residents want an allotment. Patchway will need to service an additional 6,000 resdidents as the Northfield site is developed . due to these constraints there has never been a or at least not in the last few years any heart that Patchway would share even more than they currently are the limited facility which they have. This is why I organised a petition which I presented to Bradley Stoke in November 2008 to legally require Bradley Stoke to facilitate Allotments. It is not the responsibilty of South Glos, Jon to provide these allotments but Bradley Stoke. Its a case of the buck stops here at least it will when Cllrs take responsibility as they now are doing on Bradley Stoke to try and find land suitable fot the allotments. It was great that Steve Webb back in 2008 supported the petition I organised. it is a sad shame however that BSTC Cllrs did not when Bradley Stoke was in its infancy and especially those who were also not only Bradley Stoke Town Cllrs and then later as District Clllrs such as I believe Jon and Julian who also criticised South Glos had not ensured that our town had this facility. Cllr Brian Hopkinson

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