Allotment deal still needs to take root as decision remains on hold

The future of Whittlesey allotments is still undecided

The future of Whittlesey allotments is still undecided - Credit: Archant

The future of Whittlesey’s New Road allotments is still undecided eight months after the matter was discussed by Fenland councillors.

Whittlesey Town Council have refused to sign a new 99-year lease, which has been on the table since 2011, because they want agreement from Fenland District Council that it will share in any money raised should the land be sold for housing.

It emerged this week that both councils are still hoping to dig up a deal they can both agree on.

The issue was raised at a Fenland cabinet meeting last April when the decision on whether or not the town council should net upwards of £100,000 if the land is ever sold was postponed so it could be looked at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

The town council has asked for 15 per cent of the net proceeds of any sale of the 6.5 acres off New Road.

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Officers said that reducing the possible net income to Fenland should the site be sold for housing “will further reduce” the district council’s anticipated capital receipts.

But the council has said it will only seek planning permission and disposal “if the market conditions are favourable”.

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In 2011 cabinet was told that the town council had occupied the land – originally bought for housing - since 1981 and had invested £30,000 between 2009-11 to improve them.

When last valued in 2011 the site, if sold for housing, would be worth from £1million to £1.25million.

In 2011 cabinet decided that if the land was sold it would simply find an alternative for the allotments.

A council spokesman said this week: “Discussions are continuing with the Town Council about future lease agreements. We are currently awaiting some further information from them. Once we get that, we will be preparing the necessary reports for Overview andScrutiny and Cabinet.”

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