Developers haven't kept their promise over our allotments

ALLOTMENT holders who fought a developer planning to build over their plots claim the replacement land is substandard.

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In 2008 plotholders in Oatlands petitioned Bett Homes, which took over the land from Glasgow City Council, to keep their allotments on Rutherglen Road.

The developer should have replaced the gardens with plots to the same standard but, nearly five years on, plotholders say the land is waterlogged.

Their complaints come after the Evening Times revealed that the council failed to get a valuation on the Oatlands site before giving it to Bett Homes for a now stalled regeneration scheme.

Bett Homes took over the South Side area in 2005 in exchange for a peppercorn, or symbolic, rent of £1 a year.

As previously reported in the Evening Times, the allotments have been repeatedly hit with difficulties.

Margaret Kerr, former secretary of the Oatlands Leisure Gardens, said the allotments were moved from their original site to make way for new homes.

But, three years later, the land is still to be built on.

Margaret, who this week gave up her plot, said: "Our fight with Bett Homes to retain the original allotments started back in 2008.

"It was obvious then that they would never complete the development.

"We were forced off the old site in Rutherglen Road but, three years later, they have not yet developed that land."

Margaret added: "The Leisure Gardens are not fit for purpose and the money is not available from Bett Homes or the council to make it fit for purpose.

"It is very sad especially since so many people are desperate to have an allotment and the opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables."

Plotholder George Wands, 72, said: "Bett Homes and the council have not put in proper drainage and the site floods easily, even when there's not much rain."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Problems were reported with drainage at the allotments and were addressed by remedial works last summer.

"The position is being monitored. If the recent heavy rain has led to flooding, then the possibility of further works will be looked at in consultation with the plotholders."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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