Residents worried about new allotments plan

ANGRY residents are worried about a plan to turn their local fields into allotments.

Monday, 7th January 2013, 6:00 am

Kirklees Council has made a planning application to use parts of land at Bankfield Court, Mirfield, for nine plots.

Myra Bentley, of Stocks Bank Road, said: “It has been an open space for 40 years and it’s a nice area. If this plan goes ahead, it will be fenced off for somebody to grow some veg.”

Mrs Bentley helped to plant trees on the field – where there are already some allotments – 10 years ago and has worked to maintain it ever since.

A council spokeswoman said some trees would have to be removed to make way for allotments, but the impact of that would be assessed.

Mrs Bentley’s partner, John Sutton, said there was a variety of wildlife there, including a protected species of snail.

He said: “If allotments go on there it’s just for a couple of people who want to sit in their sheds and grow cabbages.”

The couple now want to mobilise local residents to fight the plan, which was first proposed three years ago.

Then, Mirfield Allotments and Gardens Society had a lengthy waiting list. It cleared that list this year by making its existing plots smaller, but even then demand for the new plots outstripped supply.

Chairman Alan Wilkinson said he was confident any new plots would be snapped up.

“The waiting list has been cleared but as soon as we get the message out [that there will be plots available] we will get people coming out of the woodwork,” he said.

Another local resident, Pam Thornton, of Farrar Avenue, is also against the plan, which is expected to be discussed at Kirklees’ planning sub-committee on February 28.

She said: “It’s a public area and I don’t think it should be taken away to be used by a handful of people.”

Anyone opposed to the allotments is invited to contact Mrs Bentley and Mr Sutton on 01924 490665.