Cromer allotments to be turned into extra burial space
- Credit: Archant
Dozens of allotment users behind a town cemetery have been turfed off to make way extra burial space.
Green-fingered residents and Cromer disability charity About With Friends, who between them leased 22 of the 32 town council-owned temporary garden plots behind Cromer Cemetery were told a year ago to leave by September 29 .
Tenants of the 10 remaining plots have about three months to vacate the site after its decade-long lease for garden plots ran out this year.
Garden fans are unhappy they have not been given other plots to go to – and that the move is linked to a crematorium plan that is still up in the air.
Mayor Tony Nash said the cemetery's former disused land had been successful as garden plots, but with the possibility of a new crematorium the council had to rethink the location of Cromer's only allotments.
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The controversial Westerleigh crematorium application, which would have been built behind the cemetery, was unanimously rejected by North Norfolk District Council in June.
Mr Nash said: 'It is very unusual to find allotments with permanent leases. As a local authority we are obliged to try and provide allotments if that is possible. The allotments are important. We are winding them down and actively seeking land elsewhere.
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'When the application for the crematorium was put in we knew that would impact on the cemetery. All the way along we have considered the allotments.'
He added there was a shortage of burial space in Cromer and the allotment land would be turned into extra plots, whatever the crematorium decision.
Former allotment holder Duncan Abel, 41, from Overstrand Road in Cromer, said: 'The way the council has gone about things is pretty poor. This whole thing about the crematorium has been dreadful. Nothing has been set in concrete.'
He took on an allotment about five years ago because he did not have a garden and it allowed his family to enjoy a 'wholesome lifestyle'.
Mr Abel added there was good camaraderie between tenants which included young couples, working families and retired residents.
'We are disappointed the town council has taken this action without having a back-up site.'
About With Friends, on Holt Road in Cromer, used their former plot for the Mud Club.
The club included between six and eight 14-18-year-olds with learning disabilities who grew vegetables in the summer.
About With Friends youth team lead Emily Lown said: 'It has not been too devastating for us because we have another allotment in Upper Sheringham.'
?Do you have land in the Cromer area that could be used for allotments? Contact Cromer Town Council on 01263 512254.
?Have you been affected? Email firstname.lastname@example.org