Bemusement over sauna saga in city allotment

A sauna has been constructed in the Valpy Avenue allotments

A sauna has been constructed in the Valpy Avenue allotments - Credit: Ben Hardy

City allotment holders have been baffled by the sight of a sauna constructed amid vegetable patches and greenhouses.

More readily associated with a leisure centre or a spa club, the sauna has been installed in the Valpy Avenue allotments in Mile Cross. 

The luxury sauna comes complete with a wood burning stove and cushions for the benches - but the gardeners and growers are not best pleased.

The sauna in the Valpy Avenue allotments in Mile Cross

The sauna in the Valpy Avenue allotments in Mile Cross - Credit: Ben Hardy

A neighbouring allotment holder, who has had a patch for 10 years and who did not wish to be named, said: "It's beautiful and they built it all themselves but it is completely against what the allotments are for.

"You can build all sorts of things like rabbit hutches and chicken cages but you never see people using the allotment as a summer home."

He said the sauna has been used by "half a dozen" men after being built around two months ago.

Construction of sheds and greenhouses is permitted on Norwich allotments to a maximum of 2.5 metres in length and 1.8 width.

A sauna has been built in a Mile Cross allotment

A sauna has been built in a Mile Cross allotment - Credit: Ben Hardy

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But allotment holders and neighbouring homeowners have raised complaints over noise into the early hours. 

It is understood the city council is aware of the sauna and is looking into the issue. 

The Valpy Avenue allotments in Mile Cross

The Valpy Avenue allotments in Mile Cross - Credit: Ben Hardy

Sharon Bircham, 49, who lives with her partner and daughter in Valpy Avenue, said: "I thought allotments are there for you to do gardening. Am I missing something? 

"You do hear a lot of laughing, talking and music." 

A 59-year-old woman whose property overlooks the allotments, and who did not wish to be named, said: "I noticed the chimney hanging out of it. I wonder why they have to build it in the allotments? This is a residential area." 

Valpy Avenue where the allotments are located 

Valpy Avenue where the allotments are located - Credit: Ben Hardy

Allotment holders have written to the city council about the sauna and noise levels.

Tenants do not need to seek permission to build structures and ponds in the allotment, but they must be built so they comply with the council's conditions listed on the authority's website. 

Only tenants with keys can access the padlocked allotments.

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