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Frome Town Council backs former allotment site plans

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Frome Town Council (FTC) has voted to support the aspirations of the Broadway Allotment & Community Gardens, to protect the former allotment site from development. 

Their decision was described as “a significant and important milestone”  in their efforts to have the land transferred to the community. The decision means FTC will support the association and in principle agreed, in the event Mendip District Council transferred the land, to manage the site on behalf of the community.

Richard Ackroyd leader of FTC said, “The old allotments form a small, landlocked green oasis that has somehow escaped development. Frome has lost so many of these sites recently that we risk becoming a concrete and tarmac jungle. Little lungs that make living somewhere more bearable and pleasant are an essential element of urban living. 

“With increasingly high density housing estates offering ever smaller gardens and minimal community facilities, there is a real demand for public green spaces. To quote the old Cat Stevens song, “Tell me – where do the children play?”  All power to the local residents!

At the town council meeting on 26th February, it recognised the support being received to save the site as space for wildlife and an asset for the community. A local resident, Jenny Jones, spoke passionately of the wildlife on the site saying, “Only recently we have seen woodpeckers, foxes and other wildlife. My children love playing there as well and enjoying the wildlife which we must protect.”

The association presented a preliminary plan of the site to the meeting, prepared by local resident, Polly Coupland. This outlined protection of what has been described as “the last urban badger sett in Frome”,  planting of a wildflower meadow and an orchard with native trees including fruit and nut trees. The plan also included community allotments providing not only the opportunity for the growing of food, but for students and schoolchildren to learn about growing food and horticultural skills.

Following a meeting with Mendip District Council it has been agreed the association will present their “business case” for a decision. John Clarke, chair of BA&ACG said, “We are hopeful the district council will listen to the community who are overwhelmingly supporting our plans. The decision by the town council was crucial in protecting  the site for future generations and will we hope really help in ensuring the district council makes what we believe is the right decision for the benefit of the community.”

BA&CGA can be contacted through their facebook page “Friends of Broadway Allotment and Community Garden Association” also through their website www.broadway allotments.com and on Instagram@broadwayallotments

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