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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