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Strong support for association’s petitions

Members of the Tommy's Field Allotment Association committee: from left, Phil Slater, Doreen Wright, Diane Baty and Helen Wright, with the paper petition.
Members of the Tommy's Field Allotment Association committee: from left, Phil Slater, Doreen Wright, Diane Baty and Helen Wright, with the paper petition.

Almost 2,000 people have signed the online and paper petitions in support of Tommy’s Field Allotment Association in Morpeth after members raised concerns about the site’s future.

In the summer, the association revealed a letter it received from solicitors Eversheds said a long-term tenancy agreement signed in 2012 was null and void because the association is an unincorporated body.

Morpeth Town Council’s finance and general purposes committee then issued a statement to reassure the plot holders.

It included the following: ‘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 the occupation and rights of individual allotment holders will not be prejudiced’.

But the association was not happy that a short-term agreement was being proposed and so the petitions, which were recently handed in, call for the original 50-year lease to be restored.

Chairman Phil Slater said: “We have been overwhelmed by the public support. The comments have been heartening to read and we are just so grateful to every single person who has signed these petitions.

“There is clearly a lot of affection for the allotments and their place in the history of the town.”