Gardeners anxious to see allotments at the Saltings secured after arson attacks and thefts
SIX arson attacks, constant break-ins and vandalism – the reasons why gardeners at a popular town allotment site say they must have more security.
The allotment holders are digging in to get what they say is a much-needed security fence at the Saltings site, off Littlefield Lane, despite some nearby residents objecting.
Their words follow confusion over whether a planned fence and work to create a new committee office was actually being undertaken without the necessary planning permission.
Last week, there were reports from residents that was the case as they noticed workmen on site with scaffolding up around the office and what looked like a fence being put up.
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However, the relevant organisations have confirmed that has now finished until permission is gained to carry out the actual work.
Permission is already in place for a number of other improvements, namely new water mains, a main office, drainage and new roadway.
But an application for extra security fencing, an extension to the main building to provide welfare facilities and a new roof for the committee hut is yet to be assessed.
Allotments committee chairman Winston Rose said security is "paramount" for the site.
He said: "Our aspiration is to make it as secure as possible. We can't lock the gate because there is a property on the site that requires access for the residents.
"I have been broken into four times since I got my allotment five years ago."
Fellow committee member Roy Beckett said the new fence was essential because there had been six arson attacks on sheds in the past year and repeated thefts of tools, including a £450 rotavator.
Every year hundreds of pounds worth of vegetables also vanish from the site.
Gardener Beryl Goodale said: "I have had my allotment broken into that many times that when I call the police they recognise my voice and I don't have to give my name."
NELC's head of development, Jason Longhurst, said no work would be undertaken without the necessary planning permission.
He said: "Preparatory work was undertaken to clear some vegetation on the boundary of the fence.
"This work has ceased, awaiting confirmation of the planning consent regarding the fence.
"The work completed on the roof so far is preparatory to improve the existing roof structure and does not require planning consent because it is of a repair and maintenance nature."
He said further work, however, did need permission, because there was a change in the materials used.
He added: "The allotments, like most we have, are close to the community they serve. Local households have been told about the planning application and any views which they have about the proposals will be fully considered before a decision on the planning application is taken."
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for updates.
We are happy to clarify that Salsbury Avenue resident Barbara Brewster, who objected to the need for a security fence in a previous story, has lived in the street for 46 and a half years.