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Battle to save allotments
30 January 2008

Residents are fighting to save the Tower Hill allotments in Ormskirk after they discovered the council had been in discussions to develop the site for housing.

They are now seeking assurances from the council that their allotments are safe.

The residents have two main concerns. The first is that five or six houses will be built on the site and the second is that allotments would be used to enable the water tower to be converted into flats.

Ormskirk resident Phil Tyrer said: "We have recently seen detailed documentation which discusses the possibility of putting five or six houses on the allotments. This would virtually develop the whole of the existing site, which currently has 14 allotments.

"There is also concern that three of the allotments would be used to enable the water tower to be converted into seven flats. This would be very unpopular as the flats proposal has met with significant local opposition.

"We have previously had assurances from the council that the future of the allotments was safe and that no allotments would be sold to support any development of the tower into flats. We have now written to the council to confirm that we still have this commitment.

"So far we have not had a response."

The former Water Tower, which sits in the middle of the allotments, is believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in the country and is a Grade II* Listed Building. It is found to the east side of Tower Hill, Ormskirk.

Mr Tyrer said the site has been used for allotments for the last 50 years. It is an area where residents can grow their own produce.

By Henry James

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