Fringe Box



Bellfields Allotment Holders’ Anger Over Surveyors’ Visit

Published on: 3 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2020

Angry allotment holders complained this week about surveyors appearing on site during the Coronavirus lockdown. The allotments in Bellfields have been earmarked for closure as part of the Weyside Urban Village scheme.

Picture from the Facebook group Save Old Farm Lagoon Allotments of plot-holders at the allotments in Bellfields watching surveyors making, what Guildford Borough Council said were, health and safety assessments. The picture was posted on the Facebook page on March 31.

In an email to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, the plotholders claim they were not informed of the visit by the surveyors, also adding they, “did not adhere to the two-metre rules. No one could check their ID. They walked over people’s plots”.

The growers’ Facebook page Save Old Farm Lagoon Allotments features photos of the surveyors alongside comments from plot-holders and supporters of their campaign.

Guildford Borough Council, that owns the allotment site and leases it to the Guildford Allotment society, and is undertaking the Weyside Urban Village development scheme, has responded with the following statement from its lead councillor for planning, Jan Harwood (Lib Dem, Merrow).

“The council apologises for any concern caused by our contractors visiting the site this week, we can understand how in the current environment this may have caused alarm.

“We were on site to carry out important health and safety assessments in preparation for future works. These preparatory assessments were essential in ensuring a safe working environment for the wider works planned for the site.

“We notified allotment holders that this work was taking place via the most recent edition of our Allotment Newsletter, which is distributed on our behalf by GAS [Guildford Allotment Society] and available online at

“Following the completion of this initial work, we will not need to access the allotments in the immediate future.

“Please rest assured the safety of residents and staff are top priorities for the council. Our contractors work in accordance with the guidelines on social distancing and hygiene. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, issued a letter yesterday [April 1], confirming that construction makes an essential contribution to the economy at a time of enormous financial pressure.”

In details emailed to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, the allotments campaign group’s “environmental expert” Kelly Brown wrote: “The ground investigation works which were carried out on the Old Farm allotment site are not carried out on a construction site or by key workers and therefore should be stopped.

“Plus, they are working on a site which has vulnerable members of the public using it who have been told to continue to cultivate their plots by the government.”

The plot-holders have also stated: “We truly believe that they [Guildford Borough Council] are attempting to push through this closure so that they do not have to adhere to the new terms in the Environmental Act that is imminent.”

See also: Bellfields Plot-holders Step Up Campaign To Save Their Allotments

Share This Post

Responses to Bellfields Allotment Holders’ Anger Over Surveyors’ Visit

  1. John Perkins Reply

    April 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Essential Health and Safety, eh? Tell it to the Marines.
    I guess the vulnerable members of the public need to be wary of Health and Safety.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *