Allotment Land at Coton Hill – progress reports


Update 8th September 2010.

For those who did not attend last night’s meeting, please be advised that the next meeting is scheduled for Tue 21 Sep, 7:30@ The Woodman on Coton Hill.

Following our meeting last night, this is to remind you all of the ‘actions’ which need to be complete by the next meeting, which is one week prior to the funding application deadline.

1) Speak to landowner/agent re: their definition of ‘putting the site back to bare ground’ – Ruth to write to landowner/agent and feed back to me
2) Speak to landowner/agent re: how they would feel about us converting some of the small triangle of land they’re hoping to claim squatter’s rights to – Claire to speak to landowner/agent
3) Draft constitution and tenancy agreement – Doreen and Matt to address, with input from me and Katherine (this Sunday 2:30 PM at Doreen’s)
4) Spreadsheet detailing all likely site ‘infrastructure’ requirements and indicative costs – me to do
5) Funding application – Katherine to do, in conjunction with items 3) and 4).
6) Look into our options for opening a bank account – me to do.

If anyone else would like to help with any of the above, just let me know.

Otherwise, we seem to have reached a resolution over the local resident’s objection to the allotments on the basis of extra traffic on the access road.  We will need to put in for some extra funding (around £500) to have the road patched.  This is likely to be an ongoing (i.e. potentially annual) task that we may need further funding for.

The other things discussed included:

  • Fencing/rabbits – the site has many rabbit warrens already, so rabbit proof fencing likely to be an expensive/futile option at this stage;
  • Sheds – unlikely to get funding for individual sheds, but may get some for one large shed;
  • Car parking – best on area of triangle of land to south of site, otherwise if this is not possible we’ll need to put something in off the lane to the east of the site;
  • Existing building demolition/removal – this building appears to have been used by local teenagers as a ‘knocking shop’.  Hopefully the landowner will demolish, but otherwise we need to allow funding for it
  • Plot size/quantity – based on 10m x 5m plots, we can get about 40ish ‘flat’ plots into the site, when we allow for access roadways.
  • Update 2nd September 2010.

    We had a meeting on 25th August.  Ruth Mansfield the council’s community regeneration officer was present and very helpful.  Clive Dean the council’s amenity land (?) officer also came along as did about a dozen of the hardcore people who want to make it happen.  An able and motivated group.

    Ruth Mansfield drafted a letter that she wills end to the land owner Berwick estates asking about:

    • Length of tenure
    • Water
    • Income – what they expect
    • Agreements
    • Willingness to clear or otherwise prepare land etc

    Clive Dean was going to look into the feasibility and cost of putting in passing places.

    We were also going to get rough costings on fencing and sheds with a view to putting in a funding application at the next LJC meeting.  Ruth Mansfield thinks that we are likely to be successful in this.

    In order to do this we must have drafted a rough constitution and got a bank account so we are having a meeting Tuesday 7th of September in the woody at 7.30.

    I have put a letter through the doors of the 3 houses affected on corporation lane and have received one email back basically supportive but insisting on passing places and expressing concern about the road surface.

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