A ROW over allotments that have never materialised has broken out with people living on a housing estate demanding: ‘Where are they?’
Plots were promised on Brushes, Stalybridge, as long as eight years ago when land was bought and subsequently developed by builders Persimmon. Fast forward to 2020 and there is still no sign of anything being created – in fact the area of wasteland has had more material dumped on it.
And those living in the area and Stalybridge South councillors have had enough of waiting and excuses over the delays – highlighting that a water supply was just guarded by a cone being placed on top of it and fencing is not up to standard.
Cllr Clive Patrick said: “They’ve not said they won’t do it, they just don’t do it. The cone was originally just over the pipe that came out of the ground.
“When I first became councillor, I contacted Persimmon and asked, ‘What is this? Why is it there?’
“You’re told things and promised things and they just don’t get done. It was only after we met them that they finally agreed to move the water pipe.
“And on the fences it’s been a case of, ‘Of course we will. Apologies, apologies, apologies.’ Then nothing happens.”Cllr Doreen Dickinson added: “The council was selling the land and this area was so contaminated.
So from the very beginning, Persimmon were building 66 houses and these allotments.
“It was always part of the deal and basically what happens is Persimmon come and look at it, go away and do nothing.
“People just keep passing the buck and hope we’ll go away – well, we’re not going away.”
Elaine Rawlings, of the Brushes Area Residents and Tenants Association, said: “Allotments aren’t things that take a lot of setting up and it isn’t them who would be doing the work, it would be us.”
Documents seen by The Correspondent relating to the sale of the land close to Brushes Road in 2012 detail the promises made by both Persimmon and ‘The Trustees of Mrs E Bissell’s Marriage Settlement Reversionary Share.’
They clearly refer to allotments and the contract stated they will, ‘Provide and lay topsoil to a minimum depth of 300mm.’
It is also said they will, ‘provide and erect boundary fencing and access gates to the perimeter of the allotments,’ and, ‘construct a means of access from Brushes Road’.
However, eight years on, the land has been left partially bordered by a piece of temporary fencing and the access is via a car park that lies off Swineshaw Road to a back alley behind houses.
The water supply that is also mentioned is in place but only after the Brushes Area Residents and Tenants Association intervened after a pipe was left sticking out of the floor with a blue cone over it.
Both the group and councillors claim to have approached Persimmon over why no allotments have been put in place, but they are tired of the, ‘hang fire,’ style of response.
A letter from Tameside Council to Cllr Dickinson dated September 2019 stated: “Our estates manager Stuart Avery has been instructed to pursue this matter with Persimmon.
“The obligations in respect of the allotments are set out in the attached specification from the council’s contract with Persimmon.
“The requirement to provide an access to the site from Brushes Road has been superseded.
“They have now laid out an access from the rear of the new properties to the allotments and granted the council a legal right of way for its use in connection with the allotments.”
Despite that, there is still nothing and as Cllr Dickinson said: “Nobody does anything,” while Joan, Green from the tenants’ association, added: “They made it like this, they should put it right.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes North West confirmed that they will review their obligations under the approved consent and will undertake any outstanding work within the next couple of months.
*NB: photos taken prior to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions