Greens Grow Community: B&NES Green Group Cultivates Support to Save Combe Down Allotments

5 January 2024

Green Party Cllr Sam Ross


The B&NES Green Party proudly stands in solidarity with the Save Combe Down campaign, advocating for the preservation of the venerable Combe Down Allotments. Established in 1894 to serve quarry workers, these allotments stand as the last privately owned plots leased to B&NES Council in Bath.

These grounds hold immense significance for both the community and the environment, representing an integral facet of Bath's heritage. Beyond fostering community bonds, they provide an invaluable space for local food production, contributing significantly to the city's green infrastructure and endorsing sustainable living practices.

The Green Group unequivocally supports the tireless efforts of the BANES Allotments Association (AA) and the broader allotment community to safeguard this historic site. We echo the calls for urgent action, advocating for:

  • Political Support for Local Food Growing Strategy: The Green Party champions a comprehensive local food growing strategy, reinforced by robust local plan policies. This strategy should compel developers to integrate sufficient green infrastructure on their sites or identify and deliver alternative locations, aligning with the Green Infrastructure Strategy.
  • Support for Adequate Allotment Provision: We urge B&NES local councillors to champion the provision of ample allotments in their respective areas. Emphasizing the importance of allocating resources to elevate the Allotments Service to a visionary standard without burdening other budgets, we recognise the vital role allotment tenants play in sustainable local action against climate change.
  • Council's Full Support for Preservation Amidst Looming Threat: The Green Group acknowledges the imminent threat facing the Combe Down Allotments, with the current lease set to expire in April 2024 and the landowner's intention to terminate the lease in 2025. Driven by lease uncertainties, development pressures, and the landowner's decision, this threat adds urgency to the call for preservation. We emphasise the need for the Council's unwavering support in exploring viable options to secure the Combe Down Allotments, preventing the loss of this historically and socially significant allotment site.

Green Councillor, Saskia Heijltjes, adds: "Allotments are a vital way for people who don't have a garden to grow food, be part of a community and get outside. Having access to a green space and food growing has proven to improve mental and physical health for people of all ages."

Sam Ross (pictured), Green Party Councillor for Clutton & Farmborough, and Chair of the Local Food Growing Scrutiny Task Group said, “B&NES Council is currently looking at how to develop our food strategy, with food growing and land use forming a key part of the work. The development at Mulberry Park has provided funding under a Section 106 agreement which includes provision for new allotments in the Combe Down area. While work to purchase land for this purpose is ongoing here, it would seem prudent for the council to use some of this funding now to secure the allotments that are under threat in Combe Down, as well as extending provision for more plots in the area.”

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