Page 51 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 51

A 15-year
In 1856 Cadishead was a small hamlet exactly eight miles between the centres of Manchester to the east and Warrington to the west. An area just short of six acres was set aside and donated to the labouring poor of the district to use to grow vegetables. This became known as Poorlots Allotments. I won’t, at this stage, go into the history of the site which is full of corruption and double-dealing. That will follow in future articles.
In 1968 allotment gardening had somewhat gone out of fashion, and quite a few plots on site lay barren and unused. Irlam District Council (IDC), the landowners at this time, decided to grass over 22 plots and had the status changed to Common Land. Poorlots Allotment and Leisure Society (PALS) was formed in 2004 and one of the first tasks was to
try and get this area reinstated as allotments. By this time Cadishead no longer came under IDC, but because of boundary changes, it was now in the district of Salford City Council (SCC). Our first planning application was refused due to the fact of the common land status. I then battled for two years with SSC without any joy whatsoever. The local councillor was also the head of Green Space within the council, and he didn’t want to upset his voting public.
At this stage I was joined in the
fight by Don Booth, Chair of Salford Allotment Federation (SAF). For eight years we had various meetings with
ever-higher authority members of SSC without much success. Then, in 2014 Annie Surtees, who herself was an Allotmenteer, became the Green Space manager with SCC. With her help we discovered that not just the grassed over area had had its status changed but the WHOLE site! This changed the game totally. SCC submitted an application to change the status, local opposition to the application in the name of
a petition was lodged, DEFRA got involved and said because SCC were the applicant and issuing authority it would have to be heard by an external authority. After a year-long wait it was decided that SCC couldn’t submit the application. So back to square one. In
Well, all we have to do now is find up to £200,000
2018 SAF submitted the application and again objections to the plan were raised. Because of this, again an external authority had to take the hearing. This took place in October 2019 and we won the case.
So, what next? Well, all we have
to do now is find up to £200,000 to fence the area, clear it of 50 years
of vegetation, install land drainage, reinstate the public right of way in its correct location through the site, and install the infrastructure of the site. I’ll let you know how we get on.
Alan Cavanagh Chair of PALS
and vice chair of SAF
          Allotment and Leisure Gardener 51

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