Cabinet to decide about the poisoned allotments. Recommended option costs £102,000

Milner Royd Allotment, Mearclough, Sowerby Bridge
Milner Royd Allotment, Mearclough, Sowerby Bridge

COUNCILLORS will be asked to make a decision on the future of the poisoned Milner Royd allotments next week.

A report will be discussed by cabinet members on Monday.

It recommends the Milner Royd allotments be kept open as long as reasonable precautions are taken about preparation and consumption of produce. It also tells councillors there is a potential for a new allotment site to be opened at Bentley Royd, off Sowerby New Road.

In June last year high levels of arsenic as well as lead, nickel and hydrocarbons were found. Allotment holders were warned to stop eating their produce until tests could be completed. The recommended option - of creating a second allotment site at Bentley Royd, off Sowerby New Road - would cost £102,000.

Cabinet are being given four options to consider.

The first is to keep the allotment site and create a second site at Bentley Field. The second is to close Milner Royd and relocate the existing allotments to Bentley Road, the third is to retain the site at Milner Royd and import additional topsoil or to retain current site and continue with the planned extension nearby.

Creating a new site at Bentley Royd would cost an estimated £102,000. It is thought £50,000 of that could come from grants. It would include £45,000 on security fencing, £10,000 on water, £15,000 on paths, £15,000 on soil, £7,000 on a composting toilet and £10,000 on sheds.

The third option, to import the topsoil would cost £80,000.

Bentley Royd is currently designated as a sports ground but has not been used as such for several years. The lower part of the site could be developed into allotments and the top part could remain as a sports pitch.

Approval for its development would be needed from Sport England.