Over 4,000 sign petition to save Wanstead allotment site

IMG_20210519_193033©Stephen Lines

A petition to ‘save Redbridge Lane West Allotments from Cadent’ has received over 4,000 signatures. 

“At the end of March, more than 40 plot holders at Redbridge Lane West allotments in Wanstead were left devastated by the news that global giant gas company Cadent was seeking to remove them and use the allotments to build a compound and car park to ‘upgrade’ their adjacent gas works. Almost three months later, Cadent have still not submitted any plans for the ‘critical’ and ‘essential’ work they say they need to do. From the outset, plot holders have been united in their opposition to Cadent’s proposals and quickly set up a petition to seek public support in taking their case to the Council. The petition attracted more than 2,000 signatures in less than a week.  With the petition today standing at over 4,000 signatures, the plot holders are now submitting the petition to the Council,” said a spokesperson for the plot holders.

Councillor Paul Merry added: “I urge Redbridge Council to reject Cadent’s plans to seize the entire Redbridge Lane West allotments to undertake work on their adjacent site. I call on Redbridge Council officers to urgently negotiate alternative proposals with Cadent Plc.”

The many supportive comments on the petition include:

  • “Plots cannot be put on hold temporarily. This proposal would require the plot holders to start again and spend years recreating their space. It must be rejected.”
  • “Using this allotment site for construction work will destroy it for gardening. Soil structure is built up over years and years and will be destroyed by heavy equipment and pollution. The community that nurtures the allotments is also something that can and will be destroyed. You can’t take away their land for two years and expect them to be able to come back to a stripped landscape and still be the thriving community they are now. This is outrageous.”
  • “This is a central part of our community, with both individuals and families benefiting, learning about nature and producing their own produce. To take this away from the individuals that have spent years maintaining their plots and disrupt local wildlife is to diminish their importance. Now more than ever our green spaces and well-being needs to come first and foremost.”
  • “The allotments have proved invaluable for plot holders mental wellbeing during the Covid pandemic, combining fresh air and exercise, locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables with no air miles or environmentally damaging processes.”
  • “The largest single allotment is taken up by the much-praised charity ‘Sprout There!’ project, run by the charity Uniting Friends. They provide a therapeutic horticulture programme for adults with learning disabilities.  The potential loss of this vital resource is causing huge distress. Our son comes here with Uniting Friends. They all have a learning disability and it gives them a feeling of being involved outdoors, gaining confidence & a great opportunity to learn new skills.”

To view the petition, click here.