Ok, Amanda MacMillan of STV Local phoned me as i had told her about the problems at Oatlands Gates (she did a thing about our Detroit movie). She's asked me to write a "blog post" and hopefully this (below) will work. I wanted to check and see if you guys thought this was alright - lemme know if you want any changes. Also, Claire maybe you could put in a quote? Something like Claire Shearer, Secretary of Oatlands Gates says "..." And do you want to inclue the bit about Danny Alderslowe? If so, are there any other politicos who are definitely on side? (I know Philip Braat is but he's not local so maybe not useful for this).
Ok, lemme know what you think.
Plotholders at the new Oatlands Gate have been told by Glasgow City Council that they are not to erect sheds on the site due to what the Council calls their "perceived negative appearance". While the Council made much of their committment to allotments and a green strategy when Oatlands Gates were officially opened, it now appears that the main concern is an aesthetic one, in particular one that sees allotment sheds as "negative" and potentially causing, in the words of the Council, a "loss to residential amenity".
Oatlands Gate are situated along the new Clyde Walkway, and someone in the Council, or possibly Bett Homes (the developers) don't want allotment sheds to spoil the view of the river. And yet, with Glasgow City Council waiting lists of up to 6 years for allotment sites, the Council recognises the demand for plots. But with nowhere to store tools, how can plotholders work the land? The Council has said that plotholders can have "storage boxes" but as these aren't large enough to store a rake, what use are they?
Plotholders at Oatland Gates have been provided with a chemical toilet - and that is all. No clubhouse or communal space to store tools. They have been presented with land to use, but no meaningful way for them to store tools, change of clothes, etc to effectively work their plots. And yet they have been expected to pay the same rent as plotholders at sister site Oatlands Leisure Gardens, who were moved by developers Bett Homes into plots with sheds already on them (albeit on a site half the size of the original).
Glasgow City Council has insisted that the two sheds already erected on the site be dismantled. At a recent meeting, plotholders unanimously agreed to fight this decision and have rallied local politicians like Green Councillor Danny Alderslowe to the cause. Hopefully common sense will prevail.