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Spanglefish Gold Status Expired 01/01/1900.
01 January 2008

After several years in the Planning & "Waiting to do something" stages, construction of a new Security fence and Gate on the Oakfields side of the Allotment Site began in November.

A great start by the Contractor who, having removed all the old wire mesh fencing & gate, found he had got the wrong materials for the new fence!

The removal of the old fencing left the Site open to Joe Public and thieving herberts who (as predicted to GBC by WBDRA) subsequently came on site, broke in to several sheds, stole tools and caused a fair amount of damage to property & plots. What a great piece of project management!

Eventually the right materials turned up and work began which completed just in time before the School Christmas Holidays.

The contractor didn't come on to the site using the main gates but chose to take out fence panelling and drive across an Oakfields residents' grass verge for access to the site. They didn't ask the owners' permission and left it in a terrible state  - something akin to a Le Somme quagmire.

Once the job was done and the new gate locked, no-one @ GBC had thought about how Allotment tenants would get in without a key - so quite a few angry tenants were unable to get on to the site for several weeks.

The contractor had simply given his key to a passing Oakfields resident who very thoughtfully sent said key to the Guildford Allotment Society (GAS) - why didn't the contractor send keys to GAS  or GBC? Eventually the key issue got sorted out by members of WASHA & GAS.

The actual Security fence and gate are pretty good structures and more than adequate for purpose BUT the contractors took away the old feather edge wooden fence in front of the Allotment Site which had been a very effective screen for many years and replaced it with a wooden rail, the end of which comes halfway up the gate making it very easy for anyone to climb over on to the Allotment site. (Great Security idea, GBC!!)

Oakfields residents are understandably annoyed and have complained to the person in charge of the project @ GBC who really seemed not to care that the contractor had left that part of Oakfields looking like the perimeter of a prison!.

It's very doubtful that GBC or their contractors had any right to remove the wooden fence as beyond the the line of the Allotment fence is a strip of land which does not belong to GBC and at least a third of the old fence was abutting the grass verge belonging to an Oakfields resident. Other Oakfields residents over the years have maintained & repaired the fence and it's a fair bet that they actually have title/ownership of the old wooden fence.

WBDRA have written twice to GBC asking for reinstatement of the old fence (they have not so far deigned to reply). Our 3 Worplesdon Boro' Councillors have been to look the situation but didn't seem very hopeful about reinstating the fence - even though it's what the people living there want  and would be a very low materials cost job.

We wait to hear from GBC!

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