BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council is set to fork out £350,000 to provide new allotments.
As previously reported by The Gazette in 2012, allotment holders from sites across South View successfully campaigned against plans to decommission a former allotment site in Lyford Road, South View, and turn the site into housing.
Following a plea by local residents to keep the land as allotments, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet member for property, finance and commissioning, Councillor John Izett, agreed to support them and provide up to 80 allotment plots on the land.
However, the borough council’s original plans have been scuppered after Hampshire County Council received a formal right of way application in relation to a diagonal pedestrian line that runs through the middle of the site.
And, due to the high level of applications that the county council is dealing with, the application could take several years to be resolved, meaning that the original plans are no longer feasible.
As a result, Councillor Hayley Eachus, cabinet member for community services and the environment, is being asked to approve plans to spend £125,000 and halve the original number of plots to provide 40 allotments to the south-eastern edge of the site.
In addition, a further £225,000 is set to be spent on providing a further 65 to 70 allotment plots in the borough in a bid to reduce the number of people on a waiting list from 540 applicants.
As part of the programme, feasibility work to provide the additional plots will be carried out at three potential sites in Popley – at land north of Carpenters Down, land south of Carpenters Down and land off Shakespeare Road – as well as land at Danebury Road, in Hatch Warren and land in Old Beggarwood Lane, in Beggarwood.
The borough council also plans to engage with residents and councillors in the proposed areas, the Basingstoke allotment area representative committee, and the Basingstoke allotment and leisure gardeners association.
Cllr Laura James, Labour group leader and ward councillor for Norden, told The Gazette: “We are delighted. It has been a long battle and now we are going to get 40 new allotments.
“It is a real win, and we are so pleased for the community of Norden and for the residents who need an allotment as there is a massive waiting list.”