Are you interested in having your own allotment growing space? More than 150 local people could be growing food in the local area with South Lanarkshire council considering two sites for allotments, one of which is in Blantyre.
Food-growing has grown rapidly in popularity over recent years with around 8000 people across South Lanarkshire estimated to be involved with it in a variety of ways.
A total of 335 plots are currently provided by the council at six allotments sites in East Kilbride and Rutherglen where the greatest demand for this activity has previously been, and a site has been recently completed in Strathaven.
However, almost 100 people from Hamilton and the surrounding areas have applied for plots, showing enough of a level of interest for the council to look at creating sites there. Unlike community organised gardens, allotments allow the individual to have their own personal space to grow their own food to use for whatever purpose they wish.
Due to the population size and the spread in Hamilton’s area, it is considered that two sites would be required to serve it: one to cover Hamilton, Blantyre and the surrounding areas and the other for Hamilton, Larkhall and the surrounding areas.
Two possible sites have therefore been identified by council officials, at Chatelherault and Springwells Hall, Blantyre. This would add to the current allotment space available at the BSA / Blantyre Telegraph Community Allotment beside Rowan Hall.
The number of plots on each new site could vary according to the requirements of those applying, as plots can be merged or divided to meet individual needs, but it is estimated that the Chatelherault site could hold 60 to 90 plots, while up to 70 plots could be available at Springwells Hall.
A formal planning application will be submitted for each site to establish whether additional conditions are applied that would affect the cost of development, and these initial investigations will play a part in deciding which site is progressed first, with it normally taking around one year from planning consent to having an operational site ready for plot-holders.
As part of the Food Strategy Fund, £200,000 has been ringfenced and it is expected that this will be used to fund at least one of these sites, with the development of the second site in depending on additional funding being identified.
Councillor Mark McGeever, Chair of the council’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, said: “Food-growing is proving extremely popular with people in South Lanarkshire, and we have seen interest grow rapidly in the Hamilton area.
“It is something we are keen to encourage because of the benefits for the environment and climate change as well as the boost to the health and well-being of the people taking part in it.
“As a result, I am looking forward to seeing these proposals for Hamilton and the surrounding areas progress as much as possible to let local people literally see the fruits of their labours.”
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