Hartlepool allotment holders accuse council of ‘not listening’ over two-metre fence plans

Members of the Stranton allotment Association at the current Brierton Lane gate. FRANK REID
Members of the Stranton allotment Association at the current Brierton Lane gate. FRANK REID

Allotment holders say council bosses have lost the plot over the installation of a new height barrier which gardeners say will cause a pile of problems.

Stranton Allotment Association says it was not asked about a pilot project for the new two-metre (6ft 6in) restriction at the entrance to the site in Brierton Lane.

It is going to have a massive knock on effect

Antony Baker, Stranton Allotment Association

Plot holders, who will not be given a key to operate it themselves, say it will cause huge disruption for access and deliveries as members will have to give Hartlepool Borough Council at least a week’s notice to get someone down to lift it.

The council says it is intended to help block flytippers and will not affect most gardeners.

But the Stranton allotment holders have questioned incidents of flytipping on their site with the council.

And they say the barrier could lead to the closure of the site’s shop if they are unable to take deliveries.

Antony Baker, secretary of Stranton Allotment Association, told the Mail: “I don’t see what flytipping occurs on this site. There is hardly any.

“It is going to have a massive knock-on effect. The council hasn’t listened to our concerns.

“I think it’s disgusting it can massively undermine 174 plot holders on site and is going to go ahead with it.”

The association says it will mean more parking closer to people’s homes oin Brierton Lane and Kingsley Avenue, potentially affecting holders’ relationship with their neighbours.

Councillor Marjorie James, chairwoman of Hartlepool Council’s Neighbourhood Services Policy Committee, said: “I have now visited every allotment site in the town and by far the most common problem is fly-tipping. Gardeners are fed up with the mess, damage and resulting vermin infestations caused by fly-tipping.

“When I asked them what the solution was, they all suggested some kind of height restriction that would stop large wagons gaining easy access to allotment sites.

“The bars will block access to any vehicle over two metres (6ft 6ins) high, meaning they will not affect the majority of gardeners’ vehicles.

“This is a pilot project and it is being publicised via letters to individual tenants and also in our regular allotments newsletter.

“We are keen to work closely with allotment associations and tenants to ensure that gardeners get the most out of their plots, and we would urge anyone with information about fly-tipping on allotment sites to contact the Council on 01429 523333.”