Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council creating two new allotments
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is planning to create two new allotments in the borough.
According to council minutes, sites in Rathcoole and Crumlin have been earmarked for the development to create 71 plots.
The council already operates allotment sites in the borough at Ballyearl, Rathfern, Greystone in Antrim, the Grange in Ballyclare and New Mossley, which provide 180 plots to residents and community groups.
The site proposed in Newtownabbey’s Rathcoole estate is behind Rathcoole Primary School.
Plot holders would be able to access the location from Derrycoole Way, if the proposal is successful.
At this site, 16 small and 20 large plots could be created with car parking for 12 vehicles. Sheds would be provided.
In addition, 12 raised garden beds are expected to be planted in the school grounds.
It is anticipated that development works could commence next month with a completion date in September, pending agreement with the Education Authority and Housing Executive.
A half-acre council-owned site, known locally as the Barleyfield, to the rear of Crumlin Community Centre with access at Orchard Road is also set to become an allotment where 14 small and 21 large plots will be created. Sheds will also be provided. There will be parking for eight vehicles.
Meanwhile, 700 keen gardeners signed up to take part in an online ‘grow your own’ scheme made available by the borough council.
The ‘Muddy Boots Experience’ was designed to “enable and equip the public to ‘grow your own from home’ regardless of available space, ability, or experience”.
The initiative is said to have been prompted by the impact of Covid on health and well-being and is designed to assist participants to grow their own fruit, vegetables or herbs in whatever space they have available: pots, window boxes, gardens or allotments.
It was also anticipated that it would have a “positive impact on fruit and vegetable consumption”, using seasonal produce and reducing food waste.