Biting the bullet for the Good Life
PUBLISHED: 13:32 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:59 15 June 2010
AFTER years of searching, Honiton Town Council has had to draw a line under its quest to find the ideal site for allotments and go with what is available.
AFTER years of searching, Honiton Town Council has had to draw a line under its quest to find the ideal site for allotments and go with what is available.Allotments are to be developed on part of a site at the junction of Battishorne Way and Honiton Bottom Road. Half plots will be offered to people on a waiting list.When the issue was put to members of the council's policy committee, Councillor Roy Coombs was concerned demand for plots had been underestimated and that a larger site could be needed A last minute appeal for land in the Press was suggested by Councillor Ron Farnham, but councillors felt they had already done everything possible - even bidding for land at auction.Town and district councillor Peter Halse said: "There isn't much choice. You've got land that can be used. I've been sceptical in the past, but we know there is no where else to put it. "Half a plot is better than no plot at all."Councillor Halse said gardening is tough work - as good as any gym workout - and that, while there may be over 100 names on a waiting list, he thought only 40 or 50 would "get out the spades".He was concerned that over 400 people signed a petition against allotments being developed on the proposed site."Complaining about a few people turning up soil with spades and picking vegetables? I can't believe it," he said.Councillors read a comprehensive briefing report, prepared by town clerk Lyn Hargood, charting the history of the council's quest to find the perfect spot for allotments.Councillor Vernon Whitlock, chairman of the policy committee, said: "Where do we go from here?""Identify sites?" asked Councillor Martin McGuire.Councillor Sally Casson replied: "We all know this has been going on for such a long time. I don't think there are any, are there? We've put out many feelers. Honiton Bottom Road is our only choice."Councillor Casson stressed allotments would only take up part of the site, something she feared objectors may not be aware of."We've got to bite the bullet," she said. "If we can provide allotments for some of the people on the list, we have got to make a start. "I think we should go forward."Honiton Town Council has £10,000 in reserves, which is earmarked for the development of allotments.