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2nd Jul, 2022

Bishop greeted by protesting allotment holders

ALLOTMENT holders made their feelings clear to Bishop of Warwick John Stroyan over the threat to their historic plots.

Wellesbourne Allotment Association (WAA) gathered to protest against Coventry Diocese’s plans to develop the site on the Kineton Road for housing when Bishop John visited St Peter’s Church in the village.

Plot holders hoped Bishop John – who has expressed a particular interest in rural affairs and the farming community – would appreciate the importance of retaining the 176-year-old allotment site.

Chairman Ian Hope said: “We have not received any formal proposal in writing but in recent discussions with the Coventry Diocese it is clear their preference is still to develop on the site despite their recognition of the value of the allotment community to Wellesbourne.

“On their arrival, the majority of the congregation of St Peter’s were very clear in their support for our fight against the Diocese to raise money by selling the allotments.

“We are also grateful to Bishop John for taking the time before the service to talk to us. He clearly appreciates the value of allotments not just for the well being of individuals but for the way they bring a community together.”

Last summer, proposals to sell the land to developers for 50 homes were met with fierce opposition and earlier this year church officials announced a new plan to develop just a section of the site to create an access road to new houses on an adjacent field.

But the group suspected the move was simply a way for the diocese to eventually develop the allotments ‘by the back door’.

The WAA will discuss the latest developments of the proposals at its upcoming AGM.

A diocese spokesperson previously told The Observer they were looking at ways to address the concerns of allotment holders.

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