I spent a really pleasant time this morning visiting Binswood Allotments where two members of the allotment society John Shuttleworth and Geoff Southgate showed me around and explained their fears that it may all be lost to future development.
The regional spatial strategy has allocated 10,800 new homes to be built across Warwick District in the next 20 years. This could mean land the size of Warwick Gates and South West Warwick developments put together may be used for housing. There is currently a consultation underway to gather public opinion before a decision is made where these will be built. Some of the options are considering land north of Milverton where the allotments are located.
I was able to see for myself the value these allotments are to the area and the people who enjoy them. These allotments were created in 1920 for returning servicemen from the first world war. They have been enjoyed by people in our towns ever since.
I was struck by the diverse range of uses these plots are given over to and met some of the people from all backgrounds and ages who work them. Some of the plots employ traditional methods of growing and some are experimenting with newer ways of growing their own produce.
It would be very sad to see these destroyed in a rush to build more houses. 117 people and their families already enjoy these plots and there is a waiting list for this set of allotments alone. As modern houses are built with very small gardens additional development will only increase demand for this superb source of recreation.
Where to build all the new homes we need is going to be a difficult decision. I am certain though that this cannot be at the expense of our green open spaces that let towns such as Warwick and Leamington breathe and make our towns fantastic places to live.
The allotment society is running an excellent campaign to protect these and other allotments across our towns and need your support. You can find out more on their website and please sign their petition.
There is still time till the 10th July to get a copy of the councils ‘Options for Growth’ booklet at libraries or the council buildings or from their website. I would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation so your views are heard.
Link to story on the Lib Dem local website.