flooded allotment on Brookfield, Nantwich

Allotment gardeners in Nantwich are spending a third winter under water – because two councils are arguing over who should fund repairs to a burst drain.

More than 20 plots on the site between Brookfield Park and Park Road, are flooded out again.

Frustrated allotment holders Houses say houses and gardens have also been affected by the broken drain which runs from St Anne’s Primary School under the allotment site.

The drain takes waste water away to the River Weaver nearby.

But Nantwich Town Council and Cheshire East Council have been arguing for almost a year over which authority is responsible for funding drainage repairs.

Water logged soil is a disaster for growers, destroying the structure of the soil, washing out nutrients and drowning and killing plants.

Allotment Association Chair Phil Williams said the councils both admitted there was a big problem, but blamed each other.

And Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith has vowed to take up the case.

Mr Williams said: “The Town Council rents the plots to us, but the land belongs to Cheshire East Council.

“It could cost more than £20,000 to fix the drains and neither council wants to pay.

“Meanwhile, the life is being washed out of over 20 plots.

“It’s a total dereliction of duty to their tenants and poses a real flooding risk for local householders, too.”

MP Ms Smith said: “I have contacted both Cheshire East Council and Nantwich Town Council with
a view to getting this matter resolved.

“I fully sympathise with the affected residents who are understandably frustrated that it is taking so long to determine who is responsible for the burst pipe.”

Local allotment enthusiast Angela Mills said the soggy saga was “disheartening”.

“We love our gardening and we all put so much hard work into this growing passion.

“But it is really disheartening to see everything disappear under water.

“The councils just need to pull their finger out and get this sorted – before the Spring planting season.”

Organic allotment holder Jeremy Herbert said allotments provide a valuable place for the community.

“Allotments are great for people of all ages to share a healthy, creative and environmentally positive pastime, growing good food and beautiful flowers. They benefit everyone.

“It is tragic that council cuts have left local authorities fighting like drowned rats while our public services sink beneath the mud.”

A spokesperson for Nantwich Town Council said: “It is with Cheshire East Council Lawyers at the moment and we cannot comment any further.”

We also contacted Cheshire East Council and are awaiting a reply.

flooded allotments at Brookfield, Nantwich

flooded allotments at Brookfield in February 2017

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