It started in June 2007. We all got letters that a housing estate will be built on the allotments, paddock and green fields. Local people gathered, formed a pressure group. I joined and offered my services as a graphic designer.

Amazing amount of research was done. Investigations and surveys were produced. Newsletters, posters, attendances at the planning meeting all dutifully attended.

Flora destroyed.
Flora destroyed.
Traffic was counted.
Traffic was counted.

I’ve seen the public gallery bursting at the seams at the council headquarters, and I was truely proud. I thought that we must have made a difference. Not a chance.
Placards and posters and lobbying went on and on. And NOTHING STOPPED it. Not any part of it.
I willed for a rare newt, but that wouldn’t have stopped it. Bats were found, that hasn’t stopped it. The lack of employment in the area hasn’t stopped it. Even the recession hasn’t stopped it.
The local council couldn’t stop it. So I didn’t vote for that local councilor again because of it. The grand plan could not and will not be stopped after all there has to be more housing nationally, I can see that. Its here and the reality is brutal to those that live near it.
Phase One has started. The allotment is phase two. This is what Phase One looks like:

Three story house next to established bungalows.
Three story house next to established bungalows.

The dog fox
A family in Somerset inherited the allotment site. It’s been worthless to them as its a piece of land-locked ground, until now! An elderly lady owns the paddock that protects this land from being purchased. She doesn’t want to sell but the noise and lorries are breaking her. The dust is intolerable and if I were her, I’d sell and move somewhere quiet.
It could be months or years, but the builders have put in another planning application for a two-story house three feet away that over-shadows her bungalow. It is cruel and greedy and not part of the grand plan. I see as deliberately done to upset her. Lorries park right in front of her bungalow, where they could have easily parked elsewhere. We’ve made sure she has written her objection letter and that she’s not alone.
The builders are playing by the book. They changed things and promised a lot.
The effect on the land is horrible. I’ve seen more muctjac deer around and a huge dog fox that I can only think that his den has been flattened. All the wildlife searching for new homes too.

I’ve just planted everything out. Lets hope I’m allowed to harvest it.

So that’s shallot!
Yes I’ve joked around. But I have been grateful for all the years gardening there. It’s peace and beauty has been a bonus. I’ve made friends and it has inspired me to start this blog. I’m going to continue to update this as things happen but can only hope and pray that I can at least harvest my veggies that I’ve just put out.

More news to follow. Gill

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