Seeds set for town allotments plan to go ahead

Land next to the town's cemetery could serve as temporary allotments
Land next to the town's cemetery could serve as temporary allotments

Allotments could be up and running in Market Rasen by the summer - albeit on a temporary site.

That was the conclusion following a meeting last week of residents interested in digging in for the ‘good life’.

A number of sites have been identified in the town that could serve as allotments, but these are not in town council ownership and this may take time to sort, as Coun Stephen Bunney explained to the meeting.

He said: “The land that is for allotments has to be agricultural.

“For example, some vacant plots of land might be allocated for housing or future development and that has to stay there, unless you can get it changed.”

Land at the rear of the fire station in Linwood Road is one of the sites.

Coun Bunney told the meeting: “This land would be suitable, but there is one problem - the land was bought by Tesco from Nettleship & Lucas’s and was sold as development land, and it is still on the national plan as land for industrial use.

“If the town council was to buy the land, even by compulsory purchase, we would have to get that (classification) off and reverted to agricultural use.

The second piece of land is next to the bowling club in Jameson Bridge Street, but this is less suitable, and there is also land near the recycling centre in Gallamore Lane.

Coun Bunney said the Linwood Road land was ‘ideal’ as water would be available and added action needed to be taken to make it a reality.

He said: “We need to get a group together, as we have to put pressure on to say that is the area of land that we want to have for allotments.

“I have spoken to West Lindsey and they would support us with this.

“We need to register it as a community asset, which says that we feel this is an ideal piece of land and the community wants this.

“That means the town council will have to put the bid in

“I should say the council hasn’t got lots of money, but there should be sufficient to buy a certain amount of agricultural land.”

However, as purchasing land and going through the formal process of change could take a period of time, the suggestion was made of creating temporary allotments on land owned by the council.

The possible sites are Bell Playing Field, Mill Road Playing Field and De Aston Field, which has one acre of land set aside for cemetery expansion.

With potential allotment holders keen to get a site in place as soon as possible, it was decided to pursue the De Aston Field, as it was the ‘best fit’.

Coun Bunney said the land will eventually have to go back to its intended use, but a community garden could be set up for a fixed term until other land became available.

He continued: “Community doesn’t mean to say it is open to the whole public, but it is open to members of the community who want allotments.

“This is something we could do sooner than going for the full allotments.

“If we did it properly, we could get it running this summer.”

The proposal will need to go forward at the town meeting in April.

Meanwhile, a further meeting will be held to progress the temporary allotment plan.

This meeting is planned for Wednesday, February 19, at 6pm in the Festival Hall committee room.

•Anyone interested in finding out more can contact the town clerk on 01673 842479 or email townclerk@marketrasentc.co.uk.