To receive and consider the report of the Operations and Estates Advisor.
The Committee received and considered the report of the Operations & Estates Advisor advising of updates on Windrush Place and Lakeside allotments. There were also requests for equipment and maintenance at the Windrush Place, Newland and Farmers Close sites.
Members heard that the Windrush Place allotments should be handed over to the Allotment Association at the end of April. 55 sheds, including two disabled units, at a cost of £22,000 for delivery and installation would be erected soon along with 55 rainwater butts and 6 standpipes. Water troughs would not be provided and although the water butt could be filled from the standpipes, allotments would not be permitted to be watered in that way. A small Community-use building on the site would cost approximately £3,000.
A member noted that allotments sheds should not be used for anything other than to store allotment equipment. Previously, some allotment holders had used them as storage extension to their homes. It was noted that this should form part of their terms and conditions and could be reviewed as part of lease negotiations.
The Committee was advised that Windrush Place and Lakeside representatives had requested communal compost areas. The Council had hoped to utilise compost bins already bought but had costed these larger communal 3-bay areas, made from oak sleepers at approximately £3,000 each. Members agreed that providing the funding was available these seemed a reasonable request to help meet the Council’s green initiatives.
A new boundary fence had been requested at the Hailey Road/Farmers Close site and members were advised that the current one was reviewed in 2019 and was in poor condition. It was agreed that Officers should obtain quotes for a 6ft green paladin fence, to provide new vehicle and pedestrian entrances.
Representatives from the Newland site had approached the Council, requesting the provision of a secure metal shed to store equipment for boundary maintenance they were obliged to carry out at the site, costing approximately £1,200. Members agreed this was a sensible suggestion, providing a budget could be sought.
The Town Clerk confirmed there was an earmarked reserve for providing new and improving existing allotments where these requests could be funded from. It was noted there were currently 160-170 names on the waiting list for allotments so further land should be considered from this funding if it became available.
Members also heard that flooding at Lakeside allotments, already an annual issue, appeared to be getting worse year on year. It was agreed that professional advice would be required on how this could be rectified, with the Environment Agency also being contacted.
1. That the report be noted; and,
2. That the provision of sheds at Windrush Place allotments be noted; and
3. That the provision of 3 bay composting areas at both Lakeside and Windrush Place allotments be agreed; and,
4. That the request from Newland Allotments for a secure metal shed to store maintenance equipment be agreed; and,
5. That Officers present quotes for new boundary fencing at Farmer’s Close allotments at the next meeting of the committee; and,
6. That Officers seek advice from professionals and the Environment Agency concerning flooding at Lakeside allotments.