Mystery plan for Brins Close allotments sparks concern among residents

Sign announcing that land near Brins Close is to be cleared for allotments.

People living in the Brins Close area of Stoke Gifford are waiting to learn more about a proposal to turn an area of rough grassland into allotments.

The mystery plan came to light last weekend when a sign announcing “this land is to be cleared for allotments” appeared on the pathway at the southern end of Field Farm Close.

An enquiry by The Journal to the email address shown on the sign elicited the following response and it is understood that others have received the same message:

“Stoke Gifford Allotments is a community led initiative that has been able to secure land off Brins Close in order to provide local residents with allotments.”

“Public access will still be maintained as we intent to make new pathways around the field – the primary objective is to promote community involvement on this area of under-utilised land rather than exclusion.”

“We anticipate holding a meeting on-site to establish interest within the next few weeks, which everyone will be welcome to attend.”

“Flyers with more information will be distributed next week to local residents and we will keep you up to date via email with progress.”

Steve Shield, Clerk of Stoke Gifford Parish Council told The Journal he had received numerous enquiries after the sign appeared but could offer no further information about the plan. He added that the Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council are both “investigating ownership, planning consent and the potential for allotments” at the location in question.

Mr Shield said he hoped that more information would be available after this weekend (23rd/24th February).

The sign announcing the clearance had been removed by Monday afternoon, although the two stakes to which it had been attached remain.

A Journal reader writing on our Facebook page said:

“I’m worried about what their real agenda is because (1) the allotments in Bush Avenue currently have vacant plots to let according to their website, so there clearly isn’t a local need for more allotments in Stoke Gifford Parish and (2) The area is not under-utilised, the natural environment and woodland it provides is enjoyed by children, dogs, commuters, wildlife, foragers and tree climbers on a daily basis.”

“They seem to have confused ‘undeveloped’ with ‘unused’. Digging it up and renting the land for cultivation will by definition increase the exclusion of all but the tenants!”

More info: Presumed location of the allotments (Google Maps)

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  1. News on the Stoke Gifford Parish Council website this morning:

    “A number of allotments are planned to be built on the land South of the Stoke Gifford Trust Ground and it is understood that individuals operating under the banner of Stoke Gifford Allotments have been granted a 5 year lease from the owners of the land.”

    “Both South Gloucestershire Council and the Parish Council will be liaising closely with these individuals and land owners to ensure that residents are kept informed of developments.”

    “The land itself falls under the definition of ‘agriculture’ and planning legislation indicates that the change of use of the land to use for agriculture is not development. Therefore any allotments would not require planning permission.”

    “It is understood that a public meeting will be arranged early in March whereby further information will be made available to the public.”

    Full news article: Allotment Publicity Appears in Brins Close and Field Farm Close

  2. Update from the Parish Council:

    “A public meeting has now been arranged for Wednesday 13th March 7:30pm at the Pavilion Room, Stoke Gifford Trust Ground, Rock Lane. A presentation will be given by Stoke Gifford Allotments at the meeting and local residents will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the proposed allotments.”

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