Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire campus plan upsets allotment-holders

Estcourt Park allotments
Image caption Some of the allotment-holders at Estcourt Park have been there for 35 years

Proposals by the University of Gloucestershire to extend one of its campuses have upset nearby allotment-holders who would have to relocate.

Plans to expand Oxtalls campus in Gloucester which would mean moving the allotments from Estcourt Park.

Allotment-holders said the suggested relocation site would be a "waste of time" as it was on a flood plain.

The university hopes to submit an outline planning application by August and a detailed application in 2016.

The land involved also includes the former Bishops College site, owned by the county council, as well as the allotments, owned by the city council.

'Flogging dead horse'

The suggested relocation site for the 62 allotments is at Plock Court which allotment-holders say is unsuitable.

Allotment warden Keith Evans said: "If we've got to go to Plock Court, we're wasting our time because it's a flood plain. You're flogging a dead horse."

Conservative city council leader Paul James said he "could understand" why the allotment holders did not want to move, but said the council wanted to "help the university to achieve their ambitions".

He said: "Plock Court is a possibility but we're not entirely fixed on that as yet.

"We have a huge amount of land, if we put everything together, so it's about trying to make use of those assets combined in the best way possible for the university and for the wider community.

"We recognise the importance of the allotments and we will make sure any new site is as good as the existing one."

The university's expansion plans include moving its business school from Cheltenham to Oxtalls and improving its sports facilities.

It said it had delivered letters this week, inviting local residents to information sessions in April.

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