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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Plan approved for Cumbrian community gardens

TWO COMMUNITY gardens to encourage residents to grow their own food have been given the go-ahead.

The schemes at Wastwater, in Workington, and Hillary Close, at Salterbeck, were proposed by Derwent and Solway Housing Association.

They said the gardens would encourage people to grow their own food and boost healthy eating.

A third scheme at Westfield is due to be decided by planners today after residents objected and handed a petition to the council last year, saying it would invade their privacy.

One resident of Hillary Close also raised concerns about a loss of privacy, saying the gardens were just six feet from her back door and she had concerns about her disabled son using a specially-built downstairs bathroom.

She said she found the garden’s location “totally inappropriate”.

Derwent and Solway said the healthy eating scheme would involve three gardens and had secured funding from the Big Lottery. The housing association hopes the gardens could be up and running by October this year.

They said that the projects in Moss Bay and Moorclose were community-led and aimed to “address health inequality and promote financial inclusion, as well as improve quality of life.”

Craig Humes, of Wastewater Avenue, said he had “strongly objected” to the plans.

He said that the land, which is currently used as a recreational area, was just 10 metres away from his house.

“Although the project is with good intent and the one-off funding has been secured for landscaping and fencing, what provision has been put in place beyond the next two years?” he said.

Other residents raised concerns about the gardens attracting rats and seagulls.

The council officer’s reports on both gardens said they outweighed any value that the sites had and dismissed concerns about privacy issues.

“It is not anticipated that the activity will create excessive noise, odour or un-neighbourly or anti-social behaviour,” the report added.

VBrenan@cngroup.co.uk

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