Decision Maker: Head of Transformation
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The purpose of this decision is to commission a contractor to install field drainage to rectify waterlogging in the Northstowe Phase 1 allotment and orchard land. This will bring the land into a serviceable condition and ensure it remains fit for purpose in the long term. The land has not proven to be free draining; the drainage solution proposed accords with the drainage strategy for this area. The freehold of the allotment and orchard land belongs to the district council. The allotments are operated by the Northstowe Horticultural Association under licence; plot holders are unable to work their plots whilst the drainage issue remains unresolved. Officers undertook a procurement exercise inviting contractors to devise and cost a solution to prevent future waterlogging and a successful bidder has been identified. This would result in the district council incurring £27kin costs, which will be reimbursed from the Phase 1 Open Space Management and Maintenance fund as agreed by the Phase 1 Northstowe Open Space Management Steering Group (August 2021).
To commission the drainage works required.
To effect a long term solution to waterlogging at Northstowe Phase 1 allotment and orchard land, thus allowing it to come back into its intended use.
Options considered included to leave the land in its current state and allow plot holders to make what provision they can for improving drainage, accepting the land may not be cultivatable for several months of the year.
This was rejected because orchard and allotment land has been provided in a policy compliant quantity for Phase 1 Northstowe. Failure to address the drainage issue across the allotment and orchard site will render allotment and orchard land unavailable to the extent required to serve the needs of Northstowe residents, if that land is unworkable in areas or at certain times of the year. Plot holders may damage water supplies etc if each undertakes separate efforts to drain the land; residents may be unlikely to take on plots unusable for part of the year.
Publication date: 15/09/2021
Date of decision: 15/09/2021