North West Region

Hands Off Our Greenbelt and Allotments

Hands Off Our Greenbelt and Allotments

 

HANDS OFF OUR GREENBELT AND ALLOTMENTS

Fears that local Greenbelt land and allotments face being sold off for housing development has led local MEP Paul Nuttall to call for candidates in next week’s elections to pledge to stand-up to developers.

The call comes as councils face increasing pressure to find land suitable for house building and developers prefer to build on greenbelt or allotments which is cheaper than re-developing previously built on land.

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities last month backed a council decision elsewhere in the country to sell a 118 year-old plot of public allotments to a private developer for building 700 houses.

Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader said, “I understand the pressure councils are facing due to the demand for new housing under EU rules and immigration, but they should take a much firmer stand with developers. They should insist they re-develop derelict land first.

“UKIP councillors are prepared to protect greenbelt and allotments and I’d like to hear the same commitment from candidates from the other parties hoping to be elected next week.”

Currently there is legislation designed to protect allotments from development, but local councils can apply to the government for an exemption.

Mr Nuttall added, “The government promised to halt the decline in allotments, and yet they have only rejected two applications by councils to sell them for development.

“One excuse was that to not use the allotment land would affect the developers’ profits! Over the years allotment sites, particularly urban ones, have been hacked away slowly but surely, and it has to stop.

“Following a 18,000 name petition Eric Pickles has now said that allotments are safe with him but I’m far from convinced on the evidence so far.

“The government is keen for everyone to get fit and eat healthily and there is no better way to combine both but by having an allotment. Every allotment site has a lengthy waiting list and councils should be opening more not considering sacrificing them.

“We need councillors to be heading these applications off at the first stage of the planning process, but so far I have not heard any reassurance from non-UKIP candidates that they are prepared to do that.

“Meanwhile unless we fight back we can kiss goodbye to our ancient greenbelt and our centuries-old allotments.”

One comment

  1. Mark Worley /

    Save our country and heritage from the money grabbers

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