Allotment Site: Common Road
Total Plots: 30
Nearest Postcode to this site NR30 0QG
Alan Hacon has been apppointed by GY&GAA as Racing Pigeon Welfare Officer
Further work has been in progress this weekend to reinforce the culverts and adjacent banking.
Regrettably during this process a Skip lorry got stuck resulting in some churning up of the road surface.The good news is this next weekend sees the laying down of the top dressing thereby hopefully a much better access for all .
All tenants are reminded vehicle access is restricted until further notice
Please be assured it will be much improved when completed
Many of the management team gave up,their Sunday to undertake this project.
It was extremely gratifying to see this team work so well together.
GYBC are scheduled to start work on clearing the dykes on Common Road Site in the next few weeks.
This is the start of major site improvements. Site access is now very hazardous but totally unavoidable given the nature of extraction.
PLEASE TAKE GREAT CARE WHEN ON SITE
This is the result of misplaced footing earlier on Wednesday-so PLEASE DO TAKE CARE ??!
We have been advised to leave the surface 10-14 days before attempting to apply further dressing (aggregate)
Access MAY be required to all areas of the site GY&GAA have been instrumental in bringing about these welcome changes. Welcome, from the point of view of both plotholders and local residents alike.
There may follow some entirely unavoidable site disruption over the next few weeks to enable these improvements to be ompleted in an orderly and timely fashion. Please comply with any access request from either GYGAA or GYBC . All tenants have been advised over the the past few months of this impending work so please help to get it done.
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotments Association
Minutes of the Common Road Meeting held on the 16th May
at the Kings Centre
Committee Members Present: Donna Miller (Chairperson),
Dale Miller (Generalsecretary),
Fred Suttie (Treasurer), Ron Huggins (Vice Chairman)Alan Hacon
Welcome: The Chairperson welcomed everyone
lntroductions: The Chairperson explained that this meeting was to inform the plot holders of the
expectation from the Management Team as to what needed to be done on the site and the plots.
The Chairperson started the discussion with expressing the concerns of Committee as to how the
site was running.The Chaurman explained that this Common Road Allotment Site was now also in the eyes of the Council's Environmental Health Department. She as The Chairman and the General Secretary of GY&GAA had both had conversations with the Environmental Team due to complaints also being made from local residents.
lt was made clear that the Council were giving the Association a chance to resolve the issues, if this was not done
satisfactorily then they would have no choice but to issue an Enforcement Notice.
It was acknowledged that not all of this could be blamed on the members, as GY&GAA Management in the
past had not been supportive of the site and should have stepped in a lot sooner to prevent things
being as bad as they now are. It was acknowledged that there had been no investment made on that
site. lt was also acknowledged that the site was not completely adequate for growing and had in
most been purchased as a Livestock Allotment, but it was emphasised that this did not mean is could
look like a tip.
The Members were advised that the front of the allotments along the roadside
needed to be cleared and cut back. lt was also requested that within the site itself it was required
that all of the rubbish was removed, although we were aware of fires being lit to clear some of the
problem, there was still a lot of metal and rubbish which needed to be dealt with.
It was discussed that the boundary fences, which we acknowledge they all have individual locked
gates and we would accept that, as long as the fences were maintained.
We also request a copy ofeach plot holders gate key, as Management and Secretary have a right to access on each and every plot owned by the association. We agreed that unless it was for emergency purposes then access
would be gained with the prior knowledge of the plot holder, no one intends to invade onto a plot
unless absolutely necessary.
Members were advised that ALL plot holders would be sent a copy of
the Tenancy Rules, along with a Tenancy Agreement to be completed by ALL members and returned
to the General Secretary.
There would also be a need to have the Livestock agreement completed
by all members who have Livestock on their plots, this would allow us to make sure that any
necessary Defra information would and could be passed on when it was required, again this needed
to be completed and returned to the General Secretary.
Page 2 Common Rd Minutes
The conversation was also brought up about Caravans on the site, it was acknowledged that there is
a need for some of these to be on there due to the members who use these while Pigeon Racing,
these could remain and a further agreement would be made with these people.
All other caravans needed to be removed
. lt was made clear that Doors, broken pallets, tyres, gas bottles and any
other material which would not be acceptable in the Tenancy Agreement needed to be cleared.
The discussion of Cockerels was also brought up, as an association we do not allow Cockerels on
sites where there are Residentia! Properties nearby, and therefore anyone who has a cockerel was
asked to get them removed.
We do not allow any Dogs to be kept on our sites
Any dogs beng kept on site need to be rernoved. Alan Hacon advised that all except one had been removed from the site, it was recognised that there had been one on the site historically which was used as a guard dog, but
this would not be able to continue.
We cannot allow any horses on any GY&GAA SITE. GY&GAA have just won a court case against a tenant at considerabe cost and inconveniece to both parties
The rules for horses are very different to a
livestock agreement, and we therefore will not allow horses, and anyone bringing one on would be
told to remove it straight away and posibly lose their tenancy.
The Chairperson apologised for it coming across as a bit of a dictatorship, but there was 30 years of
neglect which needed to be addressed.
It was brought up that rumour was that people are using the site as a dumping ground for their own
business reasons to earn money from doing this.
This was not going to continue, and anyone who was caught dumping would be asked to leave the site immediately and the association would look toprosecute on the grounds of fly tipping.
We also ask that the Gate is closed and locked at all times,
this is for security and also to stop fly tipping.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council are doing some work to resolve the flooding on Burgh Road, we
are working with the Authority to help resolve this. This will mean that the Dykes will be cleared out
and new culverts put in place in the hope that this helps with the water flow.
The Chairperson also brought up that there was concern about the hard-standing availability for the
pigs and goats at the far end of the site. One of the plot holders attended the meeting and said that
the pigs had hard standing but it did need to have some maintenance, he would also inform the
owner of the goats that this was a request we had made.
The question was asked, of the 4 weeks given to clear the plot would it be that we would then go and
have another look at the plots.
The Chairman responded that there had been a long timescale
already, as they were now being given another 4 weeks to do some more work, using the
Association rules, it was then formally stated that ALL plot holders were being given a 14-day verbal warning, and that by the time the minutes were sent out, there would be an accompanying letter stating that this was for their 14-day written warning. After the 4 weeks, any decision would be
made on a personal plot by plot basis, so if nothing has changed or not enough work had been put in to
clear the plot, and no reason previously given to the General Secretary, then a 28-day Notice to Quit
the site would be sent to the plot holder.
A member asked for it to be clarified that after the 14-day
written it would be just the individual plots that would be looked at for the 28-day notices.
This was confirmed by the Chairperson. What she did ask was that the plot holders at least meet us half way,
as we are going to start investing, it had already been agreed with Management to have a fence put
along one of the plots as it was well maintained and would be a good place to start.
The plot holder happened to be there, and asked if that was where we meant, when told yes, he
then asked for a gate as well. John was told not to push it, obviously jokingly. John then asked
about his caravan, and it was acknowledged and agreed that it was known to us that he needed that,
and it could stay, along with some of the others which are needed.
The Chairperson pushed on that there was an acceptance of this being a Livestock Allotment, and no one wanted to stop or break the history of that site.
Not one person in Management wanted to stop Pigeons, Pigs, Goats being kept, they in fact
were more than happy to have the animals as long as they were looked after and the required
information completed on the forms so we had a record.
A Plot holder brought up the maintenance of the site area, the chairperson said that this would
normally be upheld by the site secretary and/or site management. This plot holder had previously
strimmed the grass area alongside the single gate, and therefore costs her money. lf there was a
site secretary or management then it would be reimbursed and the same if a plot holder did the
work and could provide a receipt. lt was expressed by the Treasurer that this would be a good time
for the site as a whole to come together and work together to get this work done.
As the chairperson said "you wouldn't have it in your back garden, then don't have it in ours".
The question was brought up about children's play toys on plots. The Chairperson said we are
Allotments and Gardens, sometimes a plot is, for some, their garden. As long as the equipment is in
a useable state then there should not be an issue, if the equipment is no longer fit for purpose, then
it needs to be removed.
The Plot holder where the fence would be going up, asked when it would be done, as he is racing his
pigeons. lt was agreed that nothing would be done until closer to the winter, and with his prior
knowledge. This would be done at the same time as the work on the Dykes are done, as there would
be a need to pull out the hedging on the right-hand side of the site to try and widen the roadway at
the same time.
Kirsty asked if they should make their own plots the priority and worry about the roadway later, it
was agreed that this would be the best course of action.
The General Secretary stated that although some areas of the site were not fit for growing, it did not
mean that they should be left a mess, they could still be functional Livestock Allotments but be clean
and tidy. He then asked the question "why you have an allotment'' - The response ranged from
enjoyment, to grow things, to get the kids out of the house. For some it was a way of getting
exercise and help recover from hospital treatment.
It was brought up by a member that he had heen promised a skip 3 times and never got one, so he
had to get his own. When asked when this had been promised, and by whom, he stated it was the
Lady previously on Committee, it was then recognised that this was something that went back a few
years, and we had to agree that there is nothing we can do about the past, we needed to work to
move things forward.
It was said that at present Common Road do not have a site secretary, although Alan Hacon is
standing in at present. lt was also brought up about plot holders feeling bullied and intimated, the
members were advised that we do have a code of conduct and that is not something that we can
tolerate, anyone feeling this way should approach the General Secretary while there is no
permanent secretary on the site, and it will be looked into and the appropriate action taken in
accordance with out rules.
Ron Huggins stated that all of these people must have an interest in the site otherwise they would
not be attending, yet there had always been an issue with getting a site secretary and management
on Comon Road Site. The chairman stated that at present there would not be an option to have any of the plot
holders be in one of these positions while we have the issues that we do, as she stated the members
could walk out of the meeting and stick there fingers up at everything which had been said,
obviously that would be there choice, the chairperson did want to bring in an interim secretary,
Common Road minutes P4
so Alan could be free to concentrate on Selwyn Road, where he is Management. The person knows no
one on the site and would be able to make decisions and advise members, as to the rules and
expectations she was not someone who would be pushed about, she would work to get the best for
the site and work to move it forward.
Another member brought up her concerns that someone who did not know the site would not be able to
make a decision, but it was said that this person would be given all the facts of the site and the
expectations of the Management. ln fact, she would be exactly what was needed because she
would not be fooled into thinking that something would be done by a plot holder when they had no
intention. The Chairperson said that there was no doubt in her mind that the job of a site secretary
was a thankless task and anyone taking on that position needed a medal.
The question was raised about getting taps on the site, but it was advised that we had looked at this
for another site, but the cost was over f30,000. Another plot holder suggested that she have a well,
the chairperson asked who could help and Simon said he had the tools to do this, along with other
members offering to help.
A plot holder said she had, had ill health and needed a strimmer to clear her site, a neighbouring plot holder offered to help her with the strimmer.
There was a lot of member discussion about helping, which was a good thing to hear.
The chairperson asked if there were any other questions.
Someone asked who would be doing the Dykes and was advised that this would need to go out to
tender, the reason it was then asked is that he knows someone who could do it.
This will go to tender as we need to be aware of the wildlife down there and it may be that we need to get some professional advice first.
It was stated that once the Dykes were cleared she believed that as it was contaminated land it
would need to be removed. This was corrected as we have been told that this is not likely as we
would not have wildlife if the dykes were contaminated. She then asked what would happen with
the rubbish removed from the Dykes, it was agreed that this would be looked at as and when
The only thing members were advised is that when the Dykes are done any buildings close
or on the boundary would need to be removed, as there is a risk of them being damaged, again
there are rules in the Tenancy Rules about how far a building should be away from a dyke.
it was then stated that she would like to put herself forward for the position of Management, but as
previously discussed this is not going to be filled while there are issues on the site, and when the
time comes to fill either the Management or the Secretary position, then there would be a notice go
up for ANY plot holder to apply.
The idea! situation would be to have a Site Committee in the end, with this including people from
both the "Garden" areas and the "Livestock" areas to allow all members to have a voice for that site.
Again, the chairperson asked if there were any other questions.
The Chairperson closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.
To all tenants of the Common Road Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Allotment Association (GY&GAA) Site
This site has currently been placed under special measures because Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Environment Agency had both received complaints from residents about Noise Polution and Flooding ssues in the immediate area. Many of these ssues, though not by any means all, related to Common Road allotment site.
The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotment Association received notice from these agencies to address these issues or these agencies would have no option other than to re-posess the site and evict the tenants to allow relevant access to the dykes on site.
On detailed inspection of the site by officers of the GY&GAA it was accepted that lack of compliance to the 2014 Tenancy Aggreement by many tenants and significant lack of Management by several previous GY&GAA administrations. had allowed the site to descend into a very dilapidated and neglected state
The above pictures illustrate how far the site has been allowed to deteriorate
Above example is how any Common Road GARDEN could look Like
Cultivated with growing crops is the intended purpose- not a storage yard or a dumping ground for the detreitus of life in general when you can't find somewhere cheaper to dispose of it
The GY&GAA Management Committee -in contradiction to spurious rumours and dis-reputable misinformation by miscreants - are totally dedicated to returning this site to a full working community allotment site to be used in accordance with and complying with the 2014 tenancy aggrements
for its intended purpose
Negotiations are currently taking place as to what work is considered essential and which agency is directly responsible for carrying out the relevant and extensive ground works. including digging out ALL the relevant dykes and replacing most of the collapsed culverts to avert current flooding issues.
It has become abundantly clear from inspection and further investigation today (Monday 6th June) that the officers of the GY&GAA have been deliberately LIED to about certain strict instructions FORMALLY issued about what is, and what is not, acceptable on allotment land.
As always these negotiations will take time and involve considerable expenditure. It is very likely GY&GAA will face a signicant cost in this restoration.
The Management committee would ask all tenants to comply with any formal instructions to cultivate their plot in accordance with the Tenancy aggreeents.
Where notices ave been issued it is requested tenants comply within the time schedule. Plots will be inspected and any further action may follow, on a plot by plot basis, where significant improvement is not acheived.
Any tenant entering into the community spirit of true allotment attitude will be most heartily welcomed!!l
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