A GROUP of residents are worried they will lose their community allotment after a housing association submitted a planning application to build three new homes on the site where they grow vegetables.

People in Clitheroe who run Bawdlands Community Allotment just off Edisford Road, say the plot has helped hundreds of families over the years, not just with vegetables and fruit, but in terms of education and recreation.

They say they are devastated at the proposals by Onward Homes to demolish the plot and build three two-storey houses and two parking spaces on the land.

Dawn Hollings, who uses the allotment for educational purposes with disadvantaged children, said over the last ten years the plot has been a long-standing community asset, with many families relying on the allotment for food.

Ms Hollings, 33, said: “We received some paperwork saying we had 21 days from the date of the letter to consent to the demolition of the site, but there was no date on the letter and no details of who we would object to or how we would go about appealing the proposals.

“The community plough money into the plot and to take away respite for those with physical and mental disabilities seems ruthless to say the least, as within the proposed plans, they will only have the room for three small houses and parking.

“Currently the allotments sustain the entire community, and have been a lifeline to people during lockdown and throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and to take this away from future generations as well as the people who rely on it would be wrong.”

Ms Hollings says she cannot understand why Onward Homes would want to build on such a tiny piece of land, and the prospect is causing distress to her and her green-fingered friends.

A spokesperson for Onward Homes said: “Onward Homes has submitted a planning application to build three new affordable family homes.

“We have contacted the allotment tenant on several occasions ahead of the application being submitted, but have not received a response.

“We will continue to liaise with Ribble Valley Council to see if they are able to identify alternative allotment provision for the tenant.”