Gardeners cannot be allowed to scupper jobs and new investment

NOTTINGHAM City Council owns a seven-hectare (17-acre) plot of land on Blenheim Lane in Bulwell, which was allocated for employment use in Nottingham’s Local Plan in 1995 after a public inquiry.

As reported in the Dispatch, we have ambitious plans for an energy park on this site which would use low-carbon renewable energy, created on site, to supply competitively-priced power and heat to business units.

We believe this would create about 300 jobs for local people and bring up to £50 million of investment to the Bulwell area.

This under-utilised land is situated in a prime business-location, already popular with many firms.

Over the past year, our idea for an energy park has attracted significant interest from Nottingham companies, as well as national and international organisations in the energy, construction and technology sectors.

More than ten years ago, the site was used by the Blenheim Lane Allotments Garden Society, which has since re-located to new allotments further along Blenheim Lane. Although most of the site is now overgrown, we have discovered that parts of the site are being gardened.

We have made every effort to contact the people whom we believe are still accessing the site without our permission.

But unfortunately, they have not responded to any of our notices or letters.

We have secured plots for them on the adjacent allotment-site, so that they are able to continue gardening.

In the interest of fairness, however, we will soon have to re-allocate these plots to other people on the waiting-list if the unauthorised gardeners do not make contact with us and agree to leave.

We fully support allotment-gardening as it has many health and social benefits for individuals and is great for the environment.

But we simply cannot let one or two individuals disrupt our development plans to create much-needed employment and investment opportunities in Bulwell.

COUN ALAN CLARK (LAB),

Portfolio holder for energy

and sustainability,

Nottingham City

Council.