HYNDBURN Borough Council has backtracked on plans to ban bonfires from allotments in Hyndburn.

Changes proposed earlier this year also left tenants worried that mechanical tools except strimmers and mowers, and certain animals would be banned from allotments across the borough.

Draft guidelines led to angry allotment users attending a full council meeting and the creation of a new allotments association.

But a cross-party scrutiny committee met late last week in order to put forward a revised plan.

Bonfires will now be allowed on site, as will solid fuel barbecues.

Other issues were also cleared up. Dogs can be taken on to site but not kept there, and geese and ducks already on sites will be allowed to remain, Coun Doug Hayes said.

The Oswaldtwistle councillor said: “The council has obviously looked at it in depth initially, and decided a lot of the guidelines were ambiguous.

“The council was steaming ahead without regard to the people, it was a case of take it or leave it. I think the council has looked at itself and inwards at what it had put out, and found a lot of it needed to be reworded and was a bit over the top.”

Portfolio holder for education, leisure and arts at Hyndburn Council, Ciaran Wells, who is standing down later this year, was not at the meeting.

But he said later the changes came following a consultation with allotment holders.

Chair of the resources overview and scrutiny committee, Ken Moss, said some finer details needed to sorted, and that the council would work to do that in the ‘next couple of months’.

One sticking point was ponds at the site, which must now be covered with netting, Coun Ian Robinson said, which he described as ‘health and safety gone too far’.

He said: “One question was whether all the lakes and ponds in every council-owned park would have to be covered up too.”

Coun Robinson also announced the council was currently exploring its options in relation to the county council-owned land in Gladstone Street, Great Harwood, which was bought 40 years ago.

He said: “It was originally bought for a school to be built on, but now it’s landlocked. The school is not going to move now.”