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Moray Council gives go-ahead for Elgin allotments

By Hazel Lawson Local Democracy Reporter

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People across Moray will soon have more of an opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

The council has today given the go-ahead to lease land at Pinefield to the Elgin Allotment Association.

A meeting of the local authority's committee heard a duty exists to provide gardening spaces once the waiting list of people wanting an allotment reaches 15 – and it has now topped 23.

The council will receive a yearly rent of just £1 for the site near the football pitches.

But by handing over charge of the allotments it will save itself £2700.

Councillor Jérémie Fernandes (Elgin North, SNP) said: "I love allotments – they’re good for biodiversity and great for mental health."

Cllr Marc Macrae (Fochabers/Lhanbryde, Conservative) praised the work and passion put in over many years by the allotment association.

He said: "There’s great interest amongst folk growing their own food now."

Cllr Graham Leadbitter (Elgin South, SNP) commended the group for sticking with their ambitions over the last decade to secure a site.

He said: "They’ve had a lot of false horizons, and in some areas have had to deal with quite significant opposition.

"They’ve stuck with it and, I think, they’ve got just reward for their effort."

Committee chairwoman Bridget Mustard (Heldon and Laich, Conservative) asked for the site to be designed so people of all abilities can enjoy the benefits of growing their own produce.

Although applications for allotments are set to be open to anyone within Moray, people living in Elgin will get priority.

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