Allotments now better protected

ALLOTMENTS in Morpeth are now better protected from development, councillors have been told.

Morpeth Town Council has officially taken ownership of the plots in Tommy’s Field and Middle Greens in a transfer from Northumberland County Council.

And the move comes with an added bonus as the allotments now benefit from statutory status.

Coun Nic Best said: “The Tommy’s Field and Middle Greens sites weren’t given statutory status until they came into the town council’s ownership.

“It means that if that land is needed for something else, the people needing the land have to replace it with an equal number of allotments somewhere else that is acceptable to the allotment holders.”

The designation was discussed at a meeting of the council’s Property and Assets Management Committee after Coun Derek Thompson asked about the potential for development of plots.

And Coun Andrew Tebbutt suggested that allotments near the Sun Inn could also be considered for a transfer from current owner Isos Housing to afford them the same benefits.

Coun Best said: “It is the town council’s policy to encourage allotment holders to form associations to manage their own allotments.

“We would be very happy to talk to any allotment associations and take over allotments that are self-managed.

“Maybe we need to talk to Isos and see if they have been getting people into allotment associations and then we could take them over, but we would need to look at the financial side because it isn’t cheap.”