Homes threat to Letchworth allotment site

Maureen Hersee, Chair of Letchworth District Gardners Association, pictured in the centre with other

Maureen Hersee, Chair of Letchworth District Gardners Association, pictured in the centre with other allotment holders in Flint Road, Letchworth, where the council are consulting to build 148 houses on the land - Credit: Archant

AN ALLOTMENT site could be under threat if proposals for building houses on the site are given the go-ahead.

Letchworth and District Gardeners Association is appealing to its members to object to North Herts District Council’s consultation over the proposals of 148 houses on the Norton Road allotment site, off Flint Road, Letchworth GC.

As well as allotments, the site also has a trading store which was established on the site in 1938.

Chairman Maureen Hersee claims the association, which has 500 members, would not be able to function without the trading store.

She said: “Our members are not just losing a piece of land. They are losing all the hard work and effort over many years to work their soil to fertility. Some people have held allotments for very many years and are deeply upset.

“The trading store is such a significant part of the association and has been going for many years. It is very popular and our members rely on it. A lot of our members join just for the trading store. I doubt we would be able to function without it.

“Growing your own vegetables is very popular and we have young and old members who enjoy the allotments.”

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She added the loss of land would also put pressure on other allotments sites in the area which are already full to capacity.

The land is owned by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and leased by North Herts District Council.

David Ames, head of strategic planning and heritage for Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation said:

“It is early days in the NHDC consultation process for this site, but we have met the Letchworth and District Gardener’s Association to reassure them that if the site is chosen for development then replacement allotments, store and facilities will be provided, to ensure there is no loss to the town.

If development does proceed, it would be designed and implemented along garden city principles. Also we would ensure that replacement facilities are considered in the master planning exercise, and we would happily involve allotment holders in that process.”