Plans to close Bassetsbury Allotments to be reconsidered by Wycombe District Council

Bucks Free Press: Allotment closure plan to be reconsidered Allotment closure plan to be reconsidered

THE Bassetsbury Lane Allotments saga took yet another twist last night after a decision to close the site was officially called in.

Wycombe District Council’s Improvement and Review Commission voted to proceed with the call in of Cabinet’s decision to axe the allotments.

The commission has urged Cabinet - which meets on Monday night - to refer the decision about the future of the site back to the High Wycombe Town Committee, instead of outright closure now.

The town committee had asked WDC as landowner to fund, in part or in full, a £20,000 Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment on the allotments.

This ‘final’ test would give a clear picture of the levels of contamination on the site, enabling the council chiefs to make a definitive decision.

But Cabinet rejected the committee’s request out of hand last month and elected to consign the site to the scrap heap without handing it back to the committee for further discussion.

Cllr Ray Farmer led the call-in, saying Cabinet jumped the gun by closing the site without referring it back to the town committee first, and still believes at least some of the plots could be saved from closure.

He told the I&R meeting last night: “No-one is walking around with three ears and three eyes so it [contamination] cannot be that bad.

“Cabinet made a rash decision to close the allotments. At worst they should have said they weren’t prepared to pay for the test and referred it back to the town committee, as the site is under the committee’s jurisdiction.”

WDC Leader Cllr Alex Collingwood said a DQRA would be a “waste of money” as the council’s insurance company has said it would only cover the authority if the whole site is remediated – at a cost of about £690,000.

He added that he was “sorry people are upset” but he would prefer to invest the council’s money into looking at new sites, such as Castlefield.

But Cllr Roger Colomb said: “The town committee is responsible for about 50 percent of the residents in this district and is a well run organisation that has been able to hold or reduce its precept.

“So it has the money there to pay for this survey and I think it is up to the local ward representatives whether they want to spend that money [on the DQRA] and then make a democratic decision.

“It’s a local issue and should be determined by local representatives.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:11pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Judge 2 says...

Why don't poeple look at the wider picture? This will cost us lots of money to make it usable, with the revelent insurances etc. being in place.

Seems like this fight is rather baseless. We could extend or relocate to another site for far less money and the land can generate income by being sold of.
Why don't poeple look at the wider picture? This will cost us lots of money to make it usable, with the revelent insurances etc. being in place. Seems like this fight is rather baseless. We could extend or relocate to another site for far less money and the land can generate income by being sold of. Judge 2

1:36pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Darren Hayday says...

And there was little me thinking that the only reason why WDC aren’t going to sell it for development, is for the fact that the land is contaminated in some shape or form...
And there was little me thinking that the only reason why WDC aren’t going to sell it for development, is for the fact that the land is contaminated in some shape or form... Darren Hayday

9:07am Thu 6 Sep 12

Judge 2 says...

It will cost the council £690k to make it fully useable. I'm no expert but they can potentially extend or provide new provision for less which as a tax payer I would prefer. And then dispose of the land to a developer for some income rather then letting it rot. Is that not logical?

Please forgive any ignorance on my part but I don’t live in the affected area and am responding based on the points in the article and my view on the matter.
It will cost the council £690k to make it fully useable. I'm no expert but they can potentially extend or provide new provision for less which as a tax payer I would prefer. And then dispose of the land to a developer for some income rather then letting it rot. Is that not logical? Please forgive any ignorance on my part but I don’t live in the affected area and am responding based on the points in the article and my view on the matter. Judge 2

9:33am Thu 6 Sep 12

Darren Hayday says...

mMMmmm Let me think about this logically for 5 seconds...

Allotments or more housing...

Allotments (which people enjoy and would be angry in loosing)

or Housing... (Which we don’t need and creates more strain on our current infrastructure)..

Mmmmmmm

I still think that I personally would go for the "Allotments" choice!

But then again - a very interesting spin from Cllr Colomb - to try and make us feel all warm and nice about WDC making us good tax payers a better return on our Council Pound....

Give me a break.. pllllllease....
mMMmmm Let me think about this logically for 5 seconds... Allotments or more housing... Allotments (which people enjoy and would be angry in loosing) or Housing... (Which we don’t need and creates more strain on our current infrastructure).. Mmmmmmm I still think that I personally would go for the "Allotments" choice! But then again - a very interesting spin from Cllr Colomb - to try and make us feel all warm and nice about WDC making us good tax payers a better return on our Council Pound.... Give me a break.. pllllllease.... Darren Hayday

10:21am Thu 6 Sep 12

smuggles says...

Darren Hayday wrote:
mMMmmm Let me think about this logically for 5 seconds... Allotments or more housing... Allotments (which people enjoy and would be angry in loosing) or Housing... (Which we don’t need and creates more strain on our current infrastructure).. Mmmmmmm I still think that I personally would go for the "Allotments" choice! But then again - a very interesting spin from Cllr Colomb - to try and make us feel all warm and nice about WDC making us good tax payers a better return on our Council Pound.... Give me a break.. pllllllease....
tell that to the people looking for affordable housing!
[quote][p][bold]Darren Hayday[/bold] wrote: mMMmmm Let me think about this logically for 5 seconds... Allotments or more housing... Allotments (which people enjoy and would be angry in loosing) or Housing... (Which we don’t need and creates more strain on our current infrastructure).. Mmmmmmm I still think that I personally would go for the "Allotments" choice! But then again - a very interesting spin from Cllr Colomb - to try and make us feel all warm and nice about WDC making us good tax payers a better return on our Council Pound.... Give me a break.. pllllllease....[/p][/quote]tell that to the people looking for affordable housing! smuggles

10:35am Thu 6 Sep 12

Judge 2 says...

I must admit I would prefer allotments as I feel the demands on infrastructure are too much. Then again, whats more important, a roof over your head or a allotment for leisure time.............
I must admit I would prefer allotments as I feel the demands on infrastructure are too much. Then again, whats more important, a roof over your head or a allotment for leisure time............. Judge 2

10:40am Thu 6 Sep 12

Darren Hayday says...

I agree with you – we do need affordable housing – however unfortunately house builders want to make money.
I believe that part ownership is a good way forward, not just with new housing – I think that something should be done with older houses and flats.
This should be the type of initiatives that the government should be looking into.
Also there are many affordable houses outside London and the Home Counties.
There should be a way that we can live up North or in the West Country without having to commute into London and the Surrounding area’s – what happened to us all working from home? There are other ways in my mind rather than throwing new bricks at the problem.
I agree with you – we do need affordable housing – however unfortunately house builders want to make money. I believe that part ownership is a good way forward, not just with new housing – I think that something should be done with older houses and flats. This should be the type of initiatives that the government should be looking into. Also there are many affordable houses outside London and the Home Counties. There should be a way that we can live up North or in the West Country without having to commute into London and the Surrounding area’s – what happened to us all working from home? There are other ways in my mind rather than throwing new bricks at the problem. Darren Hayday

2:45pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Lucky Eddie says...

Council funded allotments may have made sense during the War and immediately afterwards, but wasting for 10 or 12 plots.

What is needed most, 10 allotments so 10 people can grow some spuds or maybe 20 nurses
Council funded allotments may have made sense during the War and immediately afterwards, but wasting for 10 or 12 plots. What is needed most, 10 allotments so 10 people can grow some spuds or maybe 20 nurses Lucky Eddie

2:48pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Lucky Eddie says...

*wasteing so much money*
*wasteing so much money* Lucky Eddie

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree