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Thread: Proposed allotment site in Hockley (Essex)

  1. #1
    caroleshorney is offline Banned
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    Default Proposed allotment site in Hockley (Essex)

    If anyone is looking for an allotment site in Hockley, here is an update on the provision of allotments in the parish:

    There are currently two sites under investigation; Lower Hockley Hall Farm and the land to the south of Plumberow Mount. Both have their good and bad points and so far, neither has emerged as a clear favourite.

    The land at Hockley Hall Farm has an owner that is keen to develop the land as allotments and is willing to provide the necessary length of lease to make their development practicable. The owner was not interested in selling the land, and at the time of writing, it was not known what rent would be expected.

    Access is good and at present there are few objections from neighbours. Unfortunately, you have received a written objection from the allotment seekers’ representative saying that the land is liable to flood and would not be acceptable. Looking at the Environmental Agency’s website (see link below), it is clear that there is a risk of standing water around the boundary of the field, but no direct threat. If this site were to be chosen, then care would be needed to ensure that appropriate drainage was installed. Personal preference on the part of the allotment seekers is not a consideration, so provided the potential for flooding can be managed, it would allow the council to offer this site for allotment seekers.

    The land to the south of Plumberow Mount has limited access to roads and has generated strong opposition from neighbours who are concerned by the potential for nuisance from the allotments, loss of amenity for the parishioners, damage to wildlife with incursion by travellers and youth nuisance as a result of the improved access to the site. On the other hand, any drainage work will improve conditions for neighbours who have previously complained about rainwater runoff from the mount and the provision of off-road parking will help to eliminate the frequent complaints about unwanted parking by the children’s play area. The main advantage of this area is that it is already in the control of the local authority and will not incur purchase or rental costs.

    The council is aware that many of the concerns expressed by the residents are unfounded; there is no intention to locate anything other than allotments on the site. There are no plans for a café, shops or anything more substantial than a toolshed or greenhouse on some of the allotments. Concerns that the tenants will behave antisocially or have bonfires can be addressed by the agreement under which they will occupy their plot. From a practical point of view, the main problem will be access as you will be expected to provide off-road parking near to the site and there is no possibility of on-road parking.

    Next steps

    You have received several requests for a public meeting to discuss this matter and once you have satisfied yourself that both sites are equally viable, then this seems to be a sensible idea. The allotment seekers are entitled to land for cultivation, and the views of residents near to both sites must also be heard. Consideration should also be given to the wider audience of parishioners who will be contributing to this project. Although there is good reason to believe that most of the capital cost of the allotments could be recouped from grants, the same is not true of running costs which would have to be met from receipts and parish precept. On balance, Hockley Hall Farm seems to be the better option, but that would depend on the rental price and confirmation that flooding was not an issue.

    If you are satisfied that you have at least one site that is worthy of investigation then the next step is to invite the allotment seekers to form an allotment association and start the search for funding. As a precept-raising authority, the Parish Council does not have access to as many funding streams as does an allotments association. The fund-raising would be in partnership with the association, but with them as the lead applicant. By the time the association is established, you will have a better idea of the nature of your chosen site and the potential cost of establishing the allotments.

    For more information, please visit the Environment Agency’s website in the ‘what’s in your backyard’ section using the postcode SS5 5NW. Maps of the Plumberow area showing areas of surface water flooding and highlighting the two potential allotment sites can be viewed here:

    Environment Agency - What's in your backyard?

    Updates can also be viewed in the future at this link:

    Hockley Parish Council | Statement on the use of land for allotments

    Fingers crossed, we seem to be inching closer to our goal!

    If you are keen to pursue the opportunity of an allotment to grow your vegetables and flowers, please contact Hockley Parish Council to register your name with full contact details to:

    Michael Letch
    Clerk to the Council
    58 Southend Road, Hockley, SS5 4QH
    01702 207707
    clerk@hockley-essex.gov.uk

    This lovely photo below, which I couldn't resist, is by courtesy of London Borough of Bexley.


    In future, I am going to post all news on Facebook at facebook.com/hockley.allotment.society
    Last edited by veggiechicken; 28-05-2016 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Same subject

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    caroleshorney is offline Banned
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    Default Proposed allotments in Hockley, Essex

    Land at Bullwood Hall, New Hockley Hall Farm and latterly Meadowcroft have all fallen by the wayside, much to the disappointment of those on Hockley Parish Council’s waiting list.

    There is still no firm proposal to develop allotments at Plumberow Avenue, which many feel on that list now have to be considered. If no other land is available to lease or buy, then the council will have to see if it is practicable to put the allotments on this site. Should this be necessary, then the council would submit a planning application to the District Council for public comment and discussion. This would be the fairest way to balance the needs of the neighbours against the needs of the residents seeking land to cultivate.

    If you know anyone in Hockley who wants an allotment, please ask them to write to the Parish Clerk (see below), giving full contact details.

    The Old Fire Station, Southend Road, Hockley, SS5 4QH
    enquiries@hockley-essex.gov.uk
    01702 207707

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    caroleshorney is offline Banned
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    Default Hockley, Essex

    Are you still looking for an allotment in Hockley?

    If you are keen to pursue the opportunity of an allotment, please contact Hockley Parish Council to register your name with full contact details at the following email address: clerk@hockley-essex.gov.uk*- copying in caroleshorney@hotmail.com, for which very many thanks!

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    caroleshorney is offline Banned
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    Default Proposed allotments in Hockley, Essex

    Here, I'm quoting the email I received from Rochford District Council, as follows:

    'As discussed, Councillors were minded to approve the application for 70 dwellings at Pond Chase Nursery at a committee meeting last week but the decision still needs to be issued and the legal agreement signed. It is not a formal decision until this takes place. With a development of this scale drafting the conditions and a legal agreement between the parties can take a bit of time, it may be a couple of months before a decision is finally issued although I am hopeful that this might be by the end of February. One of the conditions of the decision will relate to the need to agree details of the allotments before development commences.

    Once a decision is issued it is then in the hands of the developer as to when they decide they wish to submit the details to address the conditions that will be attached to their decision notice. They will generally only submit these details when they feel they are ready to look to build out the site. Once the decision notice is issued, a developer has 3 years to commence development so they could submit details any time within 3 years for consideration. However, I am hopeful that Permission Homes are looking to progress the site swiftly.'

    One of the conditions was for a plot of land 2520m2 set aside for allotments. Hockley Parish Council will be contacted with a view to running them.

    The folks on the waiting list hope to establish an Allotment Society pretty soon, in readiness.

    Hopefully, further news in due course.
    Last edited by caroleshorney; 06-02-2016 at 03:04 PM.
    bearded bloke likes this.

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    caroleshorney is offline Banned
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    Default Proposed allotment site in Hockley

    There should be a further update on this project very soon, hopefully!

    In the meanwhile, if you are keen to pursue the opportunity of an allotment to grow your vegetables and flowers, please contact Hockley Parish Council to register your name with full contact details to:

    Michael Letch
    Clerk to the Council
    58 Southend Road, Hockley, SS5 4QH
    01702 207707
    clerk@hockley-essex.gov.uk

    Photo below courtesy of London Borough of Bexley

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    Hi Carole, I have merged your threads about the proposed allotments so that the background to them is easier to follow.
    If you have further updates, perhaps you could add them here.
    Make 2019 the Year of Random Seed sowing
    All we are saying is..........Give seeds a chance.
    @realveggiechicken

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