Morpeth Town Council has reaffirmed its commitment to local allotments after concerns were raised by the Tommy’s Field Allotment Association.
Members of the association told the Herald last month that a letter they received from solicitors Eversheds said a long-term tenancy agreement signed in 2012 was null and void because the association is an unincorporated body.
And they were not happy that a short-term agreement was being proposed by the local authority in its place.
But at a recent meeting of the finance and general purposes committee of the town council, members unanimously agreed to issue a statement to reassure the plot holders.
Committee chairman David Bawn said: “The town council would like to reassure residents and allotment holders that whatever the outcome of the negotiations with the Tommy’s Field Allotment Association, save for the 0.46 hectares required for the proposed roundabout, Tommy’s Field will remain allotments in perpetuity and enjoy the full statutory protection of allotments and that the occupation and rights of individual allotment holders will not be prejudiced.”
Mayor of Morpeth, Coun Nic Best, added: “It is inevitable that discussions regarding an important legal document such as the proposed lease to the allotment association need to go through the proper legal channels and may take some time.
“However, with good will on both sides, we are confident that a satisfactory agreement can be reached.”
A council spokeswoman added that the statutory protection of allotments requires that new allotments should be provided in place of any allotment land lost.
In this case, developer Galliford Try is creating 24 new allotments at East Riding, which will be given to the council to compensate for the 0.46ha loss from Tommy’s Field.