Update Sept 2017: Charles Church, the developers have now submitted their discharge proposals to Rochford District Council for the provision of allotments and open spaces at the Folly Grove site. The Parish Council, as a statutory consultee, has requested more information before submitting comments. Full plans and comments are available on the Rochford District Council website.
July 2017 Folly Grove Allotments:
The Parish Council is aware that this new development site in Folly Lane is moving along apace and Rochford District Council will be expecting Persimmon to submit their plans for the agreed Allotment Spaces shortly. The District Council will refer the plans to the Parish Council who will be asked to comment as a statutory consultee. When this stage is completed we will have reached a point to move forward and work with the interested members of the community to consider forming a dedicated group to manage the site. As you will see from the Open Spaces Page on this website the Parish Council are also working on a 5 year plan for the management of Marylands Nature Reserve and are looking at creating a community orchard at the Reserve. We will keep you informed on our website and in our Newsletters as developments unfold.
The Parish Council has a duty in law to provide allotments for residents if asked, and in 2013 it received a petition requesting that a site is made available for allotment holders to cultivate. Knowing the property prices in the parish, you will not be surprised to learn that few people are willing to sell their land or offer it on a long lease for use as allotments. Consequently, there is no land available for allotments and no realistic chance of obtaining any in the foreseeable future.
The Council is still looking for land and would be interested in any proposal to establish an allotment sites. If a site is made available, it will have to meet certain conditions and it will have to be designed to avoid the need to fell mature or treasured trees. It will have to accommodate at least twenty-five allotments, two of which will be adapted for disabled use. There will be road access and parking for perhaps five cars and there will also be a need for security fencing that will be proof against two and four legged raiders. When established, the allotment holders could be allowed to have small toolsheds or glasshouses, but no other buildings will be permitted. Bonfires will not be allowed and the tenants will be required to keep their sites neat and tidy. The Council is aware that some people have been talking about major development with shops or a café, this project is simply about providing allotments; nothing more. Although it can be difficult to see the benefits of something new, allotments and housing exist side-by-side in many other communities and there is no reason to think that it would be any different in Hockley should an opportunity arise.
If you have arable land that could be used for allotments and you would be willing to sell or offer on a fifty-year lease, please contact the clerk for an informal discussion. The ideal site would be level, well-drained, have access to a road and be about two acres.