Promised allotments still empty six years on

The allotments on the edge of Spixworth - of which there are 20 - were promised as part of the building of St Mary's Court

The allotments on the edge of Spixworth - of which there are 20 - were promised as part of the building of St Mary's Court - Credit: Maya Derrick

Overgrown and unloved - citizens of a village on the outskirts of Norwich are still unable to use their nearby allotments years after they were promised.

In December 2015, permission was granted for St Mary's Court, a development of homes for over-55s off North Walsham Road which included 20 allotments in the package.

Six years on, the plots are still a point of contention due to the quality of the work and access rights, and remains untouched.

The land has been left untouched

The land has been left untouched - Credit: Maya Derrick

Last year, Broadland District Council was accused of "dropping the ball" over the promise of allotment plots.

A spokesman said that while a specification for the works was agreed between the developer and parish council and the allotments carried out, they have yet to be transferred to the parish council due to issues regarding the quality of the work and matters of pedestrian access.

He added that the district council is working with all parties to find a satisfactory outcome.

Carolyn Lake, clerk to Spixworth Parish Council, said that there are 36 people on the waiting list for an allotment, adding: "Spixworth Parish Council is extremely frustrated and the hold up is between Broadland District Council and the developer."

The allotments have not been maintained for a number of years, leading to drainage issues

The allotments have not been maintained for a number of years, leading to drainage issues - Credit: Maya Derrick

Rodney Frosdick-Hubbard of St Mary's Court said: "I would like to see the land put to good use, as allotments.

Rodney Frosdick-Hubbard said he would like to see the land next to his home in St Mary's Close "put to good use"

Rodney Frosdick-Hubbard said he would like to see the land next to his home in St Mary's Close "put to good use" - Credit: Maya Derrick

"The problem is access. Village hall access is a much better option, it also means a cut through to the chemist and the shops for those with not as much mobility."

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Gary Wade who lives in nearby Godfrey Road added: "I'd love to see the space used. It's not in keeping with the area.

Gary Wade of Godfrey Road, Spixworth

Gary Wade of Godfrey Road, Spixworth - Credit: Maya Derrick

"I'm sure many would love to have an allotment here, it gives people something to do."

That sentiment was echoed by St Mary's Court's Bev Stewart, saying that the plots would have been a hit during the height of the pandemic.

She added: "The sad thing is that it'd be such a lovely way to get out."

Linda Lindsay, Bev Stewart and Sue Tooley who all live in St Mary's Court on the outskirts of Spixworth

Linda Lindsay, Bev Stewart and Sue Tooley who all live in St Mary's Court on the outskirts of Spixworth near the allotments - Credit: Maya Derrick

Neighbour Linda Lindsay added: "I've lived here for two-and-a-half years, and it's gone from looking nice to how horrendous it is now. It's such a shame.

"People could've started to grow vegetables, but it's been wasted."

The allotments on the edge of Spixworth back onto the bungalows in St Mary's Court

The allotments on the edge of Spixworth back onto the bungalows in St Mary's Court - Credit: Maya Derrick

The Spixworth allotments back on to the 23 bungalows that were built at St Mary's Court in 2019

The Spixworth allotments back on to the 23 bungalows that were built at St Mary's Court in 2019 - Credit: Maya Derrick