THE battle to save Wellesbourne Allotments was given an important boost recently after Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam, held face-to-face talks with representatives of the Diocese of Coventry.
Mr Wright called the meeting following his concerns about the proposed sale of the allotment on Kineton Road by the Diocese – who own the site – in exchange for 50 new homes.
Letters from angry residents have flooded into Mr Wright’s office over the issue and he too has expressed his misgivings about the proposal saying the allotments serve a valuable community purpose in Wellesbourne and the town has already taken its fair share of new housing.
Following his meeting with the Diocese, Mr Wright issued the following statement.
“My meeting with the Diocese enabled their representative to explain the financial pressures they face, but I stressed to them that many people expect greater recognition of community priorities and wellbeing from the Church of England than from other developers. These are highly relevant factors in this development.
I also stressed that, in my view, the Local Plan process was a meaningless one if developers of any kind are able to pursue development sites not included in the Plan, in all likelihood immediately after the Plan has been adopted. The right thing for the Diocese to do if it believes it has a good site for development is to bring it forward in due course in the next Local Plan process. I think and hope this point was understood.”
In other developments, Wellesbourne Allotment Association has also secured a meeting with the Diocese which is scheduled for 8th August. Last Saturday, 1,000 people signed a petition to save the allotments. The signatures were gathered outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Wellesbourne.
The National Allotment Society has also made contact with the group and offered free legal advice.