Families in Norwich to benefit from new allotment scheme

Families in west Norwich will get the chance to grow their own food thanks to the creation of a community allotment scheme.

Planning permission has been granted for a community garden, complete with allotments, communal gardens, a greenhouse and a community building on land known as Blake's Field, between Hellesdon Road and Marriott's Way in the Marlpit area of the city.

The proposal was put forward by Norwich-based Sustainable Living Initiative, which already runs a Grow-Your-Own scheme in Bluebell Road South.

The aim of the project is that local families will be able to make use of the allotments and get advice from people on site about how to grow fruit and vegetables.

The application came before members of Norwich City Council's planning committee this week where people backing the scheme told councillors of their support.

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Tish Kerkham, from Clifton Close, in Norwich, told the committee she was hoping to be a volunteer at the project.

She said: 'I was leafleting in the area and I was really surprised how much support I got from people.

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'I have been involved with the Bluebell Road South scheme and the Grapes Hill Community Garden, and I have seen how it really brings people together.

'In my retirement I have taken a training course in organic gardening, so I can improve my knowledge and pass it on to others. I just think this is a wonderful scheme.'

While there were objections to the scheme, with concerns that it could attract gulls, crows and rats, lead to unpleasant smells and lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour, council officers recommended approval.

Lucy Galvin, Green councillor for Wensum ward, lent her support to the scheme, saying it would unite the community, from toddlers to elderly residents of Britannia Court in Knowland Grove.

Members of the planning committee unanimously agreed to grant permission for the scheme.

Are you involved in an interesting community project? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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