New allotments concerns

CONCERNED RESIDENTS who rallied against plans for new allotments in Uppermill are worried about disruption as the project unfolds.

CONCERN: Uppermill allotments (Photo credit: David Harrison)
CONCERN: Uppermill allotments (Photo credit: David Harrison)

Saddleworth Parish Council will construct and maintain 17 allotments on land close to the railway viaduct after purchasing the plot from the Canal and River Trust.

But around 100 villagers who signed a petition opposing the project have continued concerns over poor drainage, possible flooding and a lack of nearby parking as the plans go ahead.

Uppermill resident of 15 years Alan Knott, 66, said: “I really think we will have to put up with it but there are still serious concerns. If it becomes too bad, we will have to move.

“The new footpaths and greenhouses will reduce soil drainage and increase the possibility of flooding. The majority of houses around there are at risk.”

Parking for allotments – which may include raised beds for disabled gardeners – will be provided at Lime Kiln above the viaduct and access will be from the towpath.

But Mr Knott added: “The additional cars will just park up and there will be chaos. There’s a huge range of wildlife and birds that will be disrupted too.

“There is no direct access for vehicles so when construction starts everything will have to go down the towpath. It will turn it into a semi-industrial area.”

But Councillor Barbara Beeley, chair of the Saddleworth & Lees District Partnership which provided a grant for the land, insisted the carefully considered project will benefit the community.

“Prior to the submission we had discussions and the plans were adjusted to take into account comments made by local people and requests from the Environment Agency, “ she said.

“It is fulfilling a local need and we are now looking for other suitable plots in Saddleworth and Lees.

“The plans went to Planning for full planning permission so independent eyes were cast over the plans, although technically we didn’t need it.”

An Allotment Society will be set up by the Parish Council, and it will decide how and to whom the plots are let, with a growing list of green-fingered Saddleworthians waiting for a plot.

Cllr Brian Lord, chairman of the Saddleworth Parish Council, added: “The provision of extra allotments has long been a desire of the Parish Council. When this piece of land became available we jumped at the chance to be able to purchase it.

“I believe it is a much needed facility in the area, a type of service which the Parish Council should be providing for its residents and although I take on board the comments of those living close to the facility I am sure that we can work with them to overcome their concerns.”

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