Friday, July 06, 2007

Allotments on Moreton Hall?

If you fancy having a go at the good life (and you have a typically small garden), then why not start with an allotment? However, accessing one of the Town Centre allotments from Moreton Hall is not very sustainable and it would be much more effective to have an allotment patch that is more local to the estate, where families could even group together to manage a plot.

I have just heard from a friend who has verified matters with the Bury St Edmunds Town Council, that the council would consider such a facility if 6 people wrote to the Town Council requesting allotments on Moreton Hall. (Please note that consideration is just one step and doesn't translate as automatic provision).

So if you fancy being a Tom of Barbara (sorry about another 1970s reference) then please write to:

Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Town Council Offices, 18 to 19 Guildhall Street,
Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QD

(of course, you will tell me if you have sent a request won't you?)


a.n.other said...

My Dad had an allotment up North, I have very happy memories of it, and although I have never had one myself, ( I do have a veg. patch though), I wish you all the best in your endevour to get one. You never know, you may one day be featured on Gardeners World!
You could even build a shed on it (with a small but well stocked cocktail bar, for when the hard work was done).
It could really add a new dimension to your life, and if you invited Ruby, it may get her out of her mid summer doldrums.
Keep us posted!

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

My understanding is that the council has a duty to provide allotment gardens "if demand is unsatisfied", under the Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42.

I don't know that the ruling ABC group will be very keen to adhere to whatever their exact obligations are, though!

Ruby in Bury said...

Hey, allotments on Moreton Hall. That would be an excellent idea. Can I write and recommend it, even though I don't live there, or do I have to be a resident?

21st Century Mummy said...

a.n.other - the shed is also one of the key attractions and would be very well stocked...I see a new opportunity for partying coming my way...and you're invited.

Paul - I know what you mean about the BSE TC. Will make the most of it while it's still around...I might even ask the ABC if they would to get a plot, as long as they promise not to set up an Abolish Moreton Hall Allotments party.

Ruby - I think as you already wander around Moreton Hall more than some of the residents and will likely join us in the shed, I think that gives you a couple of reasons to write in.

Nigella should be in charge of catering and hospitality and interior design. I can paint pictures of pretty sunflowers on the outside.

Oh nearly forgot the digging, planting, weeding etc, i.e. caring for the produce. Now that's perfect for the kids to fit in with the school curriculum....sorted... ;-D

Nigella said...

Digging etc perfect for 21st Century Dad and Mr Nigella, of course!

Yes, with a camping stove and all those beautifully fresh and organic herbs and vegetables I can cook up a storm. We will eat like kings! Perhaps Endemol may like to make it into a reality TV show?!?! LOL!

p.s. maybe we should instigate an Abolish ABC party - any takers?! I feel incredibly sorry for the poor Town Clerk who has born the brunt of the chaos caused by all these egos.

21st Century Mummy said...

Nigella - you have just come up with the perfect digging..ladies (or just Nigella) cooking. So you'd better join the Moreton Hall Allotments gang and get writing straight away.

I think the best way to get the ABC to stop the abolishing bit is to get them a hobby...learning how to swim the channel with Hoffy might be just the ticket.

BTW Nigella...have you started blogging??? If so, well done and am enjoying the read. :-D

a.n.other said...

Thank you, I would be honoured to pay a visit.
I can make a really good Cosmopolitan, so would be able to be useful around the cocktail bar!

david said...

Leaving aside the playground comments, I like the idea of allotments on Moreton Hall.

There first issue is, where? A suitable site needs to be found and I would ask Moreton Hall residents to discuss this among themselves - possibly via this blog?

I live near the Cotton Lane Allotments and am aware that there is a long waiting-list for plots. I therefore urge everyone to think big rather than small and not to underestimate demand.

As for initial capital funding, it may be - I put it no stronger than that - that if the town council is made dormant, any surplus might be put to this worthwhile cause.

Any responsible council would look for a local commitment and I suggest that a Moreton Hall Allotments Association is formed to bid for that money.

Trust status is an option for consideration and there is the excellent example of the Moreton Hall Community Centre, which is now self-financing. There is no public subsidy - as Terry Buckle is fond of reminding me.

21st Century Mummy said...

a.n.other - watch this space...

David - with my more serious head on, thank you so much for your support on this idea and information that you have given.

I have asked Tina of the Moreton Hall Directory if she could include the suggestion in the next edition of the MHD, so at least local discussion can be under way soon.
What we really need is to have someone with as much fire in their belly as me, but the available time to lead the way on this - if there is anyone reading this who fancies taking this on then please email me (

The location will be a tricky one, with most of the land being swallowed up by housing at the moment, following tight plans for development. Is there any other land that is owned by the council but hasn't been used in this area?

I wonder if there have also been other precedents of farmers selling part of their agricultural land for such use in other edge of town developments.

You never know, perhaps the private school fancies putting over some land to good community use.

In the meantime, I will follow the developments of the town council with even more interest :-)

david said...

The MHD is a good starting point. Perhaps some notices in the Community Centre, Post Office, Tesco, Mount Farm Surgery, etc. And what about the Church? We plough the fields and scatter..

Cotton Lane Allotments has an inspirational chairman in Euan Allen and a hard-working committee. To succeed, Moreton Hall will need something similar.

Vacant land is a real issue as land values are attracive to developers and there is a presumption of consent for housing in the Local Plan 2016.

Nigella said...

Oops rumbled, 21st CM, although perhaps that could stay between you and I and my 121 visitors so far? ;)

David - playground comments just a harmless way of letting off steam, really, but yes I do agree that allotments are a great idea for Moreton Hall (environmentally and family friendly and would be yet another example of how well this community pulls together), and I plan to write to the Town Council while it is still standing.

david said...

Nigella - today's enquiries at the SEBC offices have produced the information that a parcel of land near the new school is set aside for recreation so I could find out more details tomorrow.

21CM - I'm not sure exactly where the new school is. I know the Tassel Road area quite well as I used to deliver post there but not any new housing beyond there. Can you help?

21st Century Mummy said...

David - thanks for looking into this. Yes the new school is on Airfield Rd, the area of land just past Tassel Road before you get to the Flying Fortress.

The land reserved for recreation leads from the end of Airfield Rd along to the extended cycle path (there's been a lot of change since your Tassel Road days).

It's quite a sizeable area of land, which I think is earmarked for open leisure space, playgrounds and a football pitch. Between that piece of land and the new school is an area which had been reserved for a middle school. Of course, we don't know what's happening with that now and if you can find out anything else, it would be very appreciated.

Nigella - glad to hear of your letter to the town council. So pleased that my friend mentioned it in the first place.

david said...

21CM - thanks for the info. I must emphasize that I am talking to officers of St Edmundsbury Borough Council not Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

The reason is simple. SEBC can deliver what you want: BStETC cannot. That doesn't mean that the borough will provide allotments, just that it might.

I had brief conversations this morning with two senior council officials and further discussions are planned.

Like everything else in local government, it may take some time but I may contact you by email soon.

21st Century Mummy said...

David - thanks for the info and for making the various enquiries. I await further news.

Nigella said...

David, you are indeed the peoples champion, thankyou!

david said...

Nigella - wait until I deliver. My chances are no higher than 20%.

Still, if you don't buy a ticket, you can't win the raffle!