No choice

PUBLISHED: 15:54 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

HONITON Bottom Road is the only site being considered for allotments in Honiton according to the town council. It was originally identified as a possible site for allotments in 2006 but, following an outcry from residents in the area, Honiton Town Council

HONITON Bottom Road is the only site being considered for allotments in Honiton according to the town council.It was originally identified as a possible site for allotments in 2006 but, following an outcry from residents in the area, Honiton Town Council agreed to consider alternatives.However, in a statement to the press this week, it said, due to restrictions elsewhere, "it had no alternative but to resolve to return to its consideration of Honiton Bottom road, having taken due consideration of the residents' petition".The council said it had issued the statement to clarify its position in regard to allotments, which, under the Allotments Act, it has an obligation to provide, if requested by six or more electors.The current waiting list stands at 125. Working with East Devon District Council, the town council carried out a consultation, and as part of that 470 people opposed allotments on the site.In its statement, it said it postponed proceeding with developing the plan to consider other sites.It said: "Two pieces of land were discussed with EDDC but one of these proved to be unsuitable due to covenants and its designation as sports land and the other due to outstanding planning applications within the vicinity."The town council also said it had failed in a bid to buy some land outside the Honiton boundary, but it had been unofficially advised that planning permission was unlikely as it fell within the AONB.There was also concern that buying land would put an extra burden on council taxpayers.The proposed allotments would take up less than two thirds of the land, and the bottom of the field, near the river, would remain open for dog walking and recreation.The council said: "The council is going through a number of processes which are necessary to develop part of the site at Honiton Bottom Road for allotments. These are:l To confirm that those who have requested allotments still want this facility.l To undertake a survey of the land to assess environmental aspects.l To draw up plans.l To cost accurately the provision and on-going maintenance of the allotments.l To submit to EDDC plans for permission under Change of Use.l To set up an allotment society to manage the allotments on behalf of the council."Only if all these processes are completed satisfactorily will the allotments go ahead in Honiton Bottom Road.

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