Deal struck over allotments and nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 August 2012

Persimmon will now offer financial help to the town council to complete the allotment work

Persimmon will now offer financial help to the town council to complete the allotment work


A DEAL has finally been struck to provide new allotments and a nature reserve in Locking Castle.

Persimmon Homes handed in an application to build 46 homes on the site in Old Mill Way two years ago, but it was scuppered by extra costs demanded of Weston Town Council for the neighbouring allotment site and reserve

But North Somerset Council has finally approved the developer’s application, and Persimmon will now assist the town council with funds to develop 21 allotments, as well as helping with the maintenance of the reserve.

The developer’s plans for the triangular site were initially approved last July, but the town council would have had to pay more than £40,000 for landscaping, fences, gates and the construction of part of a tarmac track.

That meant the deal had to be put on hold, but following discussions over the past year the application was finally approved last week.

Persimmon must make a contribution of £22,000 to the town council for setting up the allotments, transfer that site and the nature reserve to the town authority and establish a water supply and parking access.

It will also transfer £1,000 a year for 15 years to the town council for the future maintenance of the nature reserve.

Persimmon has already started work on the site, and councillors at the town council’s policy and finance committee on Monday said they hoped that work could start on the allotments soon.

Council leader Keith Morris said: “I think that we have ended up now with terms and conditions which are mainly acceptable.

“Everybody now seems to think that we have got the best deal that we could get.

“As long as we’ve got the budget that we need to get the allotments done and we have the planners behind us then we’re happy for it to go ahead.”

Some councillors were still concerned that the authority needed to keep up the pressure on Persimmon over the deal.

Roger Bailey said: “What I am concerned about is that Persimmon has this history of saying one thing and doing another.

“We have got to have some sort of leverage on this deal.”

Clive Darke said: “I’d just like to stress that we want to go about it the right way.

“We need to start the job properly and go in and clear it properly.”

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