Clean up or face £20,000 fines, plot owners warned

Harrowby Road allotments. 619C
Harrowby Road allotments. 619C

A GROUP of allotment holders have sprung into action after receiving

a sudden ultimatum from the district council.

The owners of plots, off Harrowby Road, Grantham, received letters from South Kesteven District Council, which they say threaten them to clean up or face a fine of £20,000 or a possible two years in prison. They were given 30 days.

One of the group, who owns several of the estimated 170 plots, had been at the allotments nearly every day since, fearfully clearing the area, which is covered in brambles and rubbish from fly-tippers.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said : “It’s quite a nasty letter actually, it’s scary. It’s like we’re criminals or something.”

The allotments have not been used for about three years after the owners were told they were likely to be sold to a builder,

She said: “Nobody did anything with the allotments because we were hoping to sell. I can see why they would want them cleaning up, some of them in particular, but we could do with an extension on the time.”

The head of development and growth at the council, Mark Williets, said they are working with the allotment holders to resolve the issue of rubbish.

He said: “The allotment holders have received a letter before action which advises them that the poor condition of their allotments needs to be addressed.

“The council has received a number of complaints over the past few years from councillors and local residents about the site, which in some areas contains fly-tipped rubbish, in others is overgrown and in some cases un-usable as allotment land.

“Lincolnshire Police and the Environment Agency have visited the site previously as have our own officers to try to resolve these issues to no avail. What we would ask the allotment holders to do is work with us by taking appropriate steps to improve the condition of their property such that formal action by the council is not needed.”

If allotment holders have concerns, Mr Williets said they would be advised to contact the SKDC planning department on 01476 406463.

The council refused to show the Journal a copy of the letter, saying it was a private correspondence.