Allotment holders meet in anger

ANGRY allotment holders have called a public meeting in Ipswich today amid fears over changes to their smallholdings. Dozens of keen gardeners at the council-owned Bramford Lane allotments are furious at moves to transfer their rented plots from one field to another claiming it is the thin end of the wedge.

ANGRY allotment holders have called a public meeting in Ipswich today amid fears over changes to their smallholdings.

Dozens of keen gardeners at the council-owned Bramford Lane allotments are furious at moves to transfer their rented plots from one field to another claiming it is the thin end of the wedge.

Diggers commissioned by Ipswich Borough Council are this week clearing an area on to which the allotment holders, some of whom have harvested their plots for 40 years, will be moved.

Once they are transferred across, their current field will be used to create an open space to include a children's play area, a wildlife area, and a teenage shelter they claim.


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Today's meeting at St Thomas' Church in Bramford Lane is likely to be a stormy resumption of their ongoing protest. They are also hoping other residents will support their opposition to the planned changes.

Lorraine Baker, secretary of the People for Bramford Lane Allotments group, said: "Most of the allotment holders don't want to move. They are quite cross. They do not want to be moved. Some of them have been here for nearly 40 years. We need to try and put people in the picture and find out what is going on."

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Mrs Baker said the land was no longer protected from development as it had now been appropriated by the council. She and her colleagues are worried this open the way to eventually build houses which will lead to the end of the allotments.

She said: "An open space means that in a few years the council can use it for anything they want."

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council stressed the changes were being made were to benefit wildlife and denied there were plans to build homes on the site.

He said: "IBC is creating an open space which has a wildlife area in it after

consultation with local people. Plotholders who are moving have chosen

their new plots - they're moving away from wildlife sensitive part of the

field.

"Government has given go-ahead for creation of open space for local people -not for homes. We are not seeking homes here but are trying to protect and

enhance the environment."

Are you one of the allotment holders affected. If so tell us what you think by writing to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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