Where Now For Nuns Moor Allotments?

The vacant Nuns Moor allotments site has been left out of a major new draft strategy to manage the city’s parks, allotments and recreation grounds, leading to questions about its long-term future.

The 128 year old allotment site was vacated by plot owners in 2015 on a promise from the city’s Freemen, who manage the land, that it would be returned to allotment use.

Spokesperson, David Wilson, said “The Freemen will clear the site and create a new, much better-maintained site with more appropriately sized allotments.” The move was welcomed by the then chair of the city’s Town Moor Joint Working Group, Cllr Ged Bell, who described the proposed ‘modernisation’ of the site as “great news and something that all parties want”.

However, the site’s omission from the City Council’s newly announced draft ‘parks and open spaces’ plan has raised questions about its future

Greening Wingrove Community Interest Company (GWCIC) has written to the Council, asking for an explanation of why the allotment site has been left out of plans, even though other allotment sites in the city have been included. It says that it hopes the omission is an “oversight” and has asked the City Council to urgently review the status of the Nuns Moor allotments prior to making a decision about the  future management of parks and open spaces.

If plans to be put before the City Council Cabinet this week are agreed, a charitable ‘parks trust’ would be set up “whose sole focus would be providing quality parks”, says a recent statement posted on the Council website.

“If approved, the proposal could attract fresh investment for the city’s 33 parks, 21 recreation sites and hundreds of allotments sites. It would also safeguard jobs and strengthen the role parks play in encouraging healthy lifestyles.”

Land would be handed over on a 125 year lease for the trust to manage and the local authority is working to a timetable which could see a final scheme approved as early as October.

“Officers would also continue to involve and listen to the views of residents and community groups across the city as the plan develops”, said the statement.

Following the Cabinet meeting, a series of five one-hour meetings will be held in different locations to allow the Council’s ‘parks transformation team’ to feedback to the public.

“The team will explain the work to date, results of the public consultation, Cabinet’s decision and next steps”, said communities officer Joe Hogan.

There will be a feedback meeting at the Nunsmoor Centre in Arthur’s Hill on Monday 24 July from 7.30pm. More details about that meeting can be found on our events page.

More information about the parks and open spaces strategy is available on the City Council Cabinet July agenda.