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UPDATE - AUTUMN 2023
THE “NEW” PLOTS @ ALDERSHOT ROAD
After much expensive delay and acrimony between the Boro’ Council (GBC) & Guildford Allotments Society (GASCL), the part of the site we had all campaigned to save from housing was finally restored to Allotment use in 2022/3.
Despite initial agreement between GBC & GASCL on what the site layout should be, the 2 parties argued regularly & publicly, fell out with neither side talking to the other. This originated from major disagreements about the fate of the Bellfields Allotments which were to become part of the land required for the Weyside Urban Village (WUV) project where a substantial number of much-needed homes were planned to be built.
Despite that, GBC & their contractors forged ahead, constructing and landscaping the fallow part of Aldershot Road in line with what they had originally agreed with GASCL.
Once the work was complete, two things came to light: one, GASCL refused to take on the lease for these plots and (2) the GBC development team were apparently unaware that there were 39 old Allotment plots already there in the overgrowth.
So GBC spent 100s of £1000s landscaping these plots, clearing a great many well–established trees and destroying wildlife habitat when what was really needed was to clear the 39 plots (or some of them) and bring them up to standard.
Had they (or GASCL) consulted with WBDRA or WASHA (the people who’d been on site for many decades collectively), we could have told them. But oh no, GASCL couldn’t have that and as a result we have ended up with what could be the most expensive set of Allotment plots in the UK. Add that cost to the development of North Moors Allotments and the loss of significant development funding for WUV – no wonder GBC have a financial crisis!
It is only fairly recently (as at August 2023) that GASCL have apparently accepted the lease for the “new” plots at Aldershot Road. These plots are now in the second season of massive weed infestation and GASCL seem to be in no hurry to clear them &/or let them despite there being a waiting list for Allotment Plots across Guildford of over 400!!
QUESTIONS ABOUT BELLFIELDS ALLOTMENTS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED – BUT WEREN’T!
As quite a few plots at Bellfields were taken out of the development plans for the Weyside Urban Village (WUV) project – the unasked question here was how much did that cost in terms of lost revenue for WUV and as a supplementary, how many potential houses were lost as a result?
A very difficult one is this. A campaign group called Save Bellfields Allotments started up. They were independent of Guildford Allotments Society so how did this group manage to get hold of all the personal e-mail addresses of Allotment tenants? You don’t have to be a Data Protection expert to have a view on this!!
LOCAL ELECTION COMMENT
In the 2023 election for Borough Councillors, all 3 Worplesdon R4GV Councillors lost out to 3 Conservatives.
At least 2 out of the 3 don’t live in Worplesdon which is very unhelpful and worst of all the ae lost Bob McShee who has been a local tour de force who everyone knew and respected. A guy who got things done, knew where to go and everyone knew him! Bob was a great supporter of WBDRA and our Allotment Campaign. He already is sorely missed!
Page Last Updated - 03/11/2023