Thursday, September 01, 2005

Long waiting list for allotments but society formed

The Nairn Allotment Society was formed last night to fight for the retention of allotments in Nairnshire. Obviously that is the first and urgent aim of the society and a very capable committee with a mixture of useful skills is to get down to work with the help of national organisations. It was excellent to feel the community spirit among the allotment holders, folk that all know each other but had never had the occasion to be in the same room together before. If there is an agenda behind the allotments being included in the planning ‘boundary’ other than a simple mistake then the Highland Council will have a major fight on its hand: not only are the allotment holders themselves now organised but there were many folk at the meeting that are on the waiting list. One of the long-term aims of the society will be to campaign for more allotments. There are 18 people on the existing waiting list and apparently the council are not allowing new names onto that list. So there could be upwards of 30-40 people who would take an allotment if one were available. There are two plots vacant at the moment; one of them has been empty for two years. Why haven’t they been offered to people on the waiting list?

With 18 officially waiting, the size of the allotments could be doubled overnight and why not? The Highland Council should listen to what people in this area want for a change. If the new ‘do-it-yourself’ bypass goes ahead there will be plenty of land around Nairn for development and this will reduce the need for so much of the proposed development on the Sandown Lands. An ideal chance to open up another 20-30 allotments that will be needed as the town grows.

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