Thursday, 10 September 2009

Article in the South Side News

Glasgow’s green-fingered fraternity are gutted that they will be losing ground at one of the city’s sacred allotment spaces.Work on the new smaller Oatlands Leisure Gardens, which is only a stone’s through from the River Clyde, has again been delayed - this time for the New Year - while the present gardens site is earmarked for flats.Written into the development deal back in 2001 was a guarantee by Glasgow City Council to maintain an allotment space in the community.The recession is being blamed for the delay in progress by construction giants Gladedale.Margaret Kerr, secretary Oatlands Allotments, said: ‘I’m not happy about the situation.‘Gladedale have been unrealistic with their timescale and plans to build houses on our present leisure gardens site. I think the site will just lie dormant, which is sad.‘We have lots of people on a waiting list and if we were allowed to have used the existing space along with new one then that would have been far more satisfactory.’New allotments are to be constructed the line of the present Wolseley Street, encroaching slightly into the grounds of Richmond Park School and are expected to be less two thirds the size of the existing leisure gardens.Despite the increased interest in allotments locally, the Council and Gladedale claim there is only so much that they can do to meet that extra demand on the Oatlands site.Another potentially suitable site for allotments in the area is located between New Rutherglen Road and the M74 but enquiries to the Scottish Government which owns the land ‘hit a brick wall’.MSP for the area, Frank McAveety said: ‘The allotment provision should first and foremost be for people from Oatlands.‘The community has been through some tough times and it’s important that it retains a leisure garden space, run by and run for the people of the area.’A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: ‘I still think that the Council was very far-sighted in 2001 to agree to include allotments as an integral part of the new Oatlands neighbourhood. ‘Times have changed and we are responding in as positive a fashion as we can, given the legal commitment we have with Gladedale.’A spokesperson for Gladedale (Central Scotland) Ltd, said: ‘Work is due for completion in early 2010. Allotment holders will then be given a reasonable period to move to the new site at which time work will begin to clear the existing allotments.‘Unfortunately it is not possible for the current site to be retained past this point. Health and safety is of paramount importance at all times and Gladedale do not consider it safe to have allotments in the middle of an active construction site.’

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