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Plot to meet rising demand


A new allotment site is being planned to help meet growing demand.

Sir John Starkey is hoping to turn an area of grassland at his Norwood Park estate into 25 plots for residents of Southwell and surrounding villages.

At present, the only allotments in Southwell are on Crink Lane and Pollards Lane, off Fiskerton Road, run by the Easthorpe Common Lands Foundation.

The waiting list for a plot is 58 people.

Sir John said he had been thinking about setting up allotments for some time and there had been a lot of interest.

He said: “It is a time when everyone wants to see if they can save a bit of money and many people cannot grow things in their garden.”

Sir John has earmarked a former smallholding off Lower Kirklington Road, which has been disused for around five years.

He said it was about one acre, south-facing and sheltered,making it ideal for growing produce.

Individual allotments will be around half the size of a traditional plot at about 30ft by 40ft.

A change of use planning application has been submitted to Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Sir John hopes to have the allotments ready by spring, but said it was taking a lot of work to get the land into a fit state.

He plans to plough the field in preparation and a water supply needs to be installed.

Tunnels could be erected to provide a covered space to grow fruit.

People will drive on to the site from Lower Kirklington Road to park their cars.

Sir John’s housekeeper, Miss Kathryn Hewitt, a keen gardener, will manage the allotment plots.

She plans to start a waiting list of interested people.

“This has caused a huge buzz in Southwell,” she said.

“My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from people who are interested.”

A working party from Southwell Town Council is looking to create more allotments

The town clerk, Carol Standish, said Sir John’s plans were good news.

She said the council was keen to provide allotments but struggled to find land.

The chairman of Easthorpe Common Lands Foundation, Mr Chris Knapton, welcomed Sir John’s plans.

He said the foundation had 70 allotment holders and demand had grown since he joined 20 years ago, when half the plots were empty.

He said one reason for the increased demand was that modern houses had very small gardens.

Anybody interested in applying for an allotment at Norwood Park should contact Miss Hewitt at North Lodge, Norwood Park, Halam Road, Southwell, NG25 0PB or e-mail kathryn.hewitt1@btinternet.com

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