Gardeners growing anger at allotments

MANY allotment holders and residents have joined in expressing their anger at plans to convert part of Bramford Lane allotments in Ipswich into a teenage play area.

MANY allotment holders and residents have joined in expressing their anger at plans to convert part of Bramford Lane allotments in Ipswich into a teenage play area.

At a public meeting called by the People for Bramford Lane Allotments yesterday, many plot holders said they felt they had been forced out of their Field Two plots.

Many residents also expressed their worries that teenagers would congregate in the play area at all times of day and night – perhaps with drink or even drugs.

The meeting was called in St Thomas' Church Hall in Bramford Lane as a response to Ipswich Borough Council's plans to move plot holders – who rent their plots from the council - from Field Two to Field One.


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The council plans to make Field Two into a public open space – and is currently planning on having a children's play area, a teenage play area and a wildlife area.

As compensation, each allotment holder moved will receive £200, a 6m by 8m shed and have their new land ploughed and manured.

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But Jim Startup, a plot holder speaking on behalf of People for Bramford Lane Allotments, said: "We feel that people are very unhappy.

"One or two people might be happy to move over – mainly because of the compensation. But other plot holders on Field Two have told me they have been cajoled into it – they were told they had to move."

Karam Chaudry, 75, a plot holder living on High View Road, said outside the meeting: "I do not want to move.

"I don't want to go because I have spent four years getting it up to this standard of production."

But Trevor Payne, Labour borough councillor for Whitehouse ward, told the meeting that 28 Field Two plot holders had identified their new plots on Field One.

He said: "We feel people are happy to take the compensation and move plots."

Residents also expressed their concern that the new play areas would attract rowdy teenagers.

Speaking outside the meeting David Heffer, 56, of Bramford Lane, said: "They are going to have lighting and that is going to attract kids there at night,

"I am worried about the drugs and the disorder. Many kids will be drinking and running amok."

But Cllr Payne, speaking before the meeting, said: "The non-teenage play area will be easily visible from Bramford Lane and Marlowe Road.

"But the teenage area will be further in, so it is further away from the residents."

Cllr Payne added that a period of consultation with many residents in Whitehouse ward would get underway in the next few weeks.

The final decision on the layout of the open space will be decided after the consultation period.

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