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Bridgend residents leave local allotments ahead of new school development

Mynydd Cynffig Primary And Allotments Design of how the site could look when finished (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

A GROUP of residents in Bridgend have been moved from their local allotment site in order to progress plans for a new school development.

The move came after Bridgend Council said it would take legal action against a group of allotmenteers based in Kenfig Hill, who had failed to move from land set aside for a school development at the neighbouring Mynydd Cynnfig Primary School.

Kenfig Hill Allotments view (Pic: Lewis Smith LDR)

The development aims to create a new premises for the school once completed, which will replace the ageing buildings with a new facility capable of supporting up to 420 local children as well as an additional 75 nursery places.

However, as a part of the new school needs to be constructed on council-owned land currently used for local allotments, it meant the group from Pwllygath Allotments would have to move.

It even led to threats of legal action by the council in recent months, though a  spokesperson has since confirmed members had left the site with promises made to provide all-new allotments in the future.

A council spokesperson said:  “Because the new school needs to be constructed partly upon council-owned land that was being used for local allotments, the council also intends to provide an all-new, purpose-built allotment site featuring enhanced facilities and access.

“Located to the rear of the new primary school, the new allotment site will feature high-quality soil guaranteed to meet specific standards, security fencing, improved access to plots, space for parking, and a replacement pigeon loft.

“In addition, each of the 26 plots will feature a hardstanding space complete with a new shed, a water butt and new timber fencing with gated access. Where requested, chicken coops can also be provided.”

Speaking after the announcement, councillor Jane Gebbie added: “This multi-million pound investment into new facilities is going to benefit generations of local people for years to come.

“I would like to thank teachers, governors, staff, pupils, parents and carers as well as members of the Pwllygath Allotments Association for agreeing to work alongside us, and help us to ensure that the community does not miss out.

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“In recognition of the temporary inconvenience that this project will unavoidably cause, we are doing everything we can to provide the allotment plot holders with a high-quality replacement site.

“We have arranged for all materials that the plot holders want to transfer across to be held in storage until the new site is ready, and have agreed a plan that will ensure the original site’s pigeons can be temporarily relocated.”

Nigel Harris Kenfig Hill Allotments (Pic: Lewis Smith LDR)

Care worker Nigel Harris, 56, of Kenfig Hill was on the allotment for over three years and said while he was happy to hear they would be relocated to the new site, with no date set for a move he feels he is in a state of limbo.

He said: “I moved off the site in March after a letter from the council. It’s very sad for all of us from the allotment because for now at least we have lost our hobby, as well as the sense of community we are a part of up there.

“The council have told us they will be moving us to a new site but at the moment we haven’t heard any specific details about it, so of course it is a big worry for us.

“We had hoped that we would get another season before we were evicted, especially as no work has started up there since we moved, but it wasn’t to be and now we are just hoping they can get us on a new site as soon as possible.”