Residents' delight at back-track on plan for new allotments in Sheffield park

Residents object to plans to create allotments in Spider Park, Lodge Moor.
Residents object to plans to create allotments in Spider Park, Lodge Moor.
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Relieved residents have welcomed Sheffield Council's decision not to turn part of a park into allotments.

People living near Spider Park in Lodge Moor were shocked to learn of plans to create an allotment site in Spider Park.

Spider Park.

Spider Park.

The council said there was a lack of provision in the area, but residents said they didn't want to lose any of their park. They raised concerns about safety and loss of privacy.

In November, about 40 people gathered at the park to demonstrate the strength of feeling against the plans.

Those people are now feeling relieved after the council decided not to go ahead with its plans - largely thanks to the opposition.

Park user Garry Smith said: "I am glad the council has decided not to proceed with this ill-thought-out proposal that was met with massive opposition from the community surrounding this much-used amenity."

Margaret Kessen, who lives nearby, added: "I am happy that the councillors have listened to our concerns. I am glad that the facility of the playing field will remain as it is, for the use and enjoyment of our community."

And Sam Saunders, chairman of the Hallam Community and Youth Association, said: "There are very few green areas accessible by residents of Lodge Moor, without first getting in a car, and it would have been a great shame to site 30 or more allotments on the field and destroy its semi-wild open nature.

"HCYA accept that there is a demand for allotments, but to site them in Spider Park would be a case of removing a valued leisure area used by hundreds of people, for the sake of providing for the hobby of 30 or so others.

"There were also serious concerns about the suitability of environmental conditions for growing vegetables in this exposed windswept area."

An e-mail confirming the decision from Chris Heeley, head of countryside and environment at the council, was sent to all those who responded to the consultation on the allotment plan.

Mr Heeley wrote: "The allotment advisory group members supported the officer recommendation not to proceed any further with the proposal for allotments at Spider Park, Blackbrook Road.

"The officer recommendation was based on the concerns raised through the consultation regarding the suitability of the site for cultivation (eg soil condition and exposure), the road safety concerns and the stated current uses of the site.

"The council is clear that there is a demand for allotments in this part of Sheffield and a positive outcome of the consultation was that a number of people made suggestions of other sites that could be considered instead of Blackbrook Road.

"The allotment office will follow up these suggestions and if suitable look to develop proposals in future years."

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