Protection from developers for allotments

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THE long-term future of some of the town’s allotments has been given extra protection from developers.

Hastings Borough Council decided to grant sites at the BOS Field, Harley Shute and Lower Clive Vale statutory status, which means they cannot be built over unless the authority has permission from the Government.

A report by Virginia Gilbert, the authority’s head of resort services and amenities, was presented to councillors at a cabinet meeting on Monday.

She said: “In the past decade we have experienced a significant increase in demand from Hastings residents wishing to rent an allotment. We are working with the Allotment Federation to maximise use of existing plots by ensuring that they are actively cultivated, by clearing and re-letting derelict plots where possible and halving the traditional size of plots when they become vacant.”

Council leader Jeremy Birch said: “Statutory status for these sites means that one would have to get permission from the secretary of state to do anything other than use them as allotments.

“So these three sites are committed to being allotments in perpetuity.”

More permanent plots in town would also help the local economy, Cllr Paul Barlow said.