A PENSIONER recalled how an 11-year-old boy was horrifically killed with a pitchfork on a Sheffield allotment – as she told how she does not want new plots to be created near her home because she fears they will attract crime and anti-social behaviour.
Irene Jervis was one of around 20 Totley residents who attended a meeting of Sheffield Council’s cabinet to protest at plans for allotments on Mickley Lane, in the leafy suburb.
Mrs Jervis, who lives on Mickley Lane opposite the site, told of her experience of allotments at Hagg Hill, Rivelin, when her husband had a plot there years ago.
She said: “My property comes right up to the boundary with the proposed allotments on Mickley Lane. I am not against allotments – my husband had one – but it is the problems they attract.
“Our greenhouse was demolished several times, the shed was set on fire, implements were stolen and the produce never got to the dining table because it had been stolen or destroyed.
“To cap it all, while we were there, a child of 11 was taken onto the allotment, a pitchfork was pushed through his heart, and he was left to die.”
Mrs Jervis added: “I have worked all my life in the NHS and now deserve to live my retirement in peace which is not what I feel I would get if there is an allotment put there. It’s a beautiful part of Totley and deserves to be kept beautiful.”
She also told of her concern that disabled people living at the Cheshire Home on Mickley Lane would no longer be able to enjoy a view across open fields because the allotment would be in the way.
Other residents were unhappy about the impact of extra traffic using Mickley Lane to access the allotment site. After hearing from the villagers, members of Sheffield Council’s cabinet agreed to scale down the proposals, removing the north section of site which is closest to homes.
The change will reduce the number of plots from 70 to 58.
No planning permission is required for the project, which is set to cost between £25,000 and £30,000. The council says the development is needed due to high demand for allotments in the area and a shortage of plots.
A 245-signature petition was gathered against the development and 14 residents have also written to the council objecting about traffic, visual impact, lack of parking, and potential anti-social behaviour problems.
Opponents claimed the council hadn’t considered enough other sites.
But council officers said they had looked at 13 sites and considered Mickley Lane was the most suitable.