entrance to brookfield allotments site

A Nantwich resident is calling for reduced allotment opening hours to help limit disturbance to his family.

Andrew Spanton, who lives next to Brookfield Allotments, also told Nantwich Town Council he had been in a dispute over the use of bonfires on the site.

He said his family has been disturbed by tenants turning up as early as 6am and has now requested opening hours be reduced to 8am – 9pm.

But Brookfield Allotments Association has hit back, saying it was a bid to “control” a public space which brings huge benefits to the community.

Mr Spanton said: “The rules around using allotments are quite adequate, but they are not being applied and it is resulting in a great deal of nuisance and antagonism with certain allotment holders.

“Most are fine, but a minority are causing a problem.

“I’ve tried to speak to one person but that’s not resolving the problem and it has become increasingly antagonistic.

“Bonfires are being lit and I am asking that the council helps in fixing this problem.”

brookfield allotments in nantwich

Brookfield Allotments in Nantwich

But Jeremy Herbert, Allotments Association rep at the Brookfield site, who has been working his plot for 25 years,  said tenants would fight plans to reduce hours.

“This is about an encroachment on community rights and freedoms,” he said.

“It’s about protecting the hard fought for community benefits of the allotments for hard working local people.

“The allotments are a vital public asset, particularly valuable and increasingly valued by the community in the light of the lockdown.

“We are very concerned that this attempt to enclose and control this public space for the benefit of one individual would set dangerous precedent.”

They say Mr Spanton has been in dispute with allotment holders over access to the site which runs alongside his property (pictured, above).

“It has always been the access point to the allotment site,” he said.

“It is public right of way owned by Cheshire East Council. But it is now potholed.

“He arrived 10 years ago – buying his bungalow right next to the entrance to this popular allotment site which has been there more than 50 years.

“He has asked us to support him in his push to privatise the entry way and to get the council to put a new entry through another fence, taking out a couple of allotments.

“We could not support this.

“The council has had no complaints from any of our dozens of other neighbours.”

There are about 100 allotments on the site, one of four run by Nantwich Town Council.

“The allotments are a vital public asset,” added Mr Herbert.

“They are highly popular providing an opportunity for quiet and tranquil exercise and green space, a chance to grow healthy food, and help the environment.

“Many plot holders work full time and can only get down to quietly water and work their plots before or after working hours.

“The restrictions Mr Spanton is demanding are unprecedented and utterly unreasonable.”

allotment holder Alan Davies at brookfield

Allotment holder Alan Davies

11 Comments

  1. P Williams says:

    Allotments Facts
    The allotment has been in existence since the early nineteen seventies, there are many other private properties which back onto the site.
    The allotment association has not received any complaints regarding activities practiced on the site from anyone in these properties.
    Mr Spanton purchased his property 10 years ago knowing that it was built right next to the entrance, he extended the property further still, within one metre of the boundary line and entrance.
    There has been an air of resentment ever since the allotment association refused to support his ambition to make the driveway totally private for his sole use, thus suggesting the creation of an alternative access point elsewhere on the allotment which would involve destroying many allotment plots to achieve.
    He refers to bonfires being set alight, these are in fact-controlled fires ignited in metal bin incinerators, on the odd occasions they are lit due consideration is always given to the allotments neighbours controlling smoke etc by the plot holder lighting the fire.
    There are several plot holders who work shifts trying to balance work and tending to their allotments, restrictive opening times would not work for them at all.
    Due consideration is always given by the plot holders when accessing and egressing the site due to the very close proximity the property at the entrance point.
    Unfortunately, now, all plot holders are keenly aware of the tensions surrounding this issue and have gone out of there way to be more considerate and neighbourly.

  2. Chris B says:

    Bonfires can be a nuisance, especially if the material to be burnt is damp and, consequently, could smoulder for many hours. Allotment holders should compost as much as possible and, for anything else that can not compost, maybe the Council could provide a skip into which such material could be placed and collected in line with the Cheshire East Re-cycling Scheme. A modest contribution by way of an addition to the Allotment Rent should keep everyone “happy”.

  3. Matt says:

    Sounds like profiteering. A private access road will increase value of his property. One man’s gain over the 100 plus allotment folk. I hope his plan fails and access for the whole community continues.

  4. p williams says:

    Totally Agree

  5. ted grenson says:

    haha office hours for plants eh? clearly someone who doesn’t realise there are two 6 o’clocks in a day, 6am is a magical time for gardening, may need to think again on bonfires, folk have health conditions to consider

  6. Phillip Davids says:

    I think the content of this article needs some balance.

    – the term “nuisance” behaviour needs to be carefully used. From my interactions with allotment holders over the years, including those at Brookfield, none of them are out to cause any trouble, annoyance or suffering to anyone.
    – Bonfires. These are an extremely rare occurrence on this allotment site. Occasionally a bonfire is the best practicable way to dispose of woody or waste that cannot be composted. How about a friendly word over the fence if one really is causing that much distress?
    – Opening Hours. The days of the traditional 9 to 5 are long gone. Many people in society, including our key workers, cannot choose when they start and stop work. Earlier in the day or later in the evening might be the only chance some people get to switch off and unwind. I consider that entrance and exit to the allotment site will be done with the utmost of respect to adjacent properties. That said, if you do choose to purchase a residential property immediately adjacent to the entrance to an allotment site that has been there for many decades, it should not be a surprise that people will be passing in close proximity to your property on their way to and from the site.

    2020 is and will continue to be a difficult year for all of us. Showing a degree of tolerance to each other will make the world a much happier place…

  7. PHWilliams says:

    Nantwich New should of gathered all the facts relating to this story before putting it in the public domain .

  8. Mrs Young says:

    Totally agree with you William
    Enjoy your allotment.

  9. William Poole says:

    Anti allotment snobs. That’s all it is. Allotments are the future not the past.

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