Harpenden Council to consider ponds on allotments

PUBLISHED: 11:52 29 January 2011

Westfield Road allotment Harpenden.

Westfield Road allotment Harpenden.

Archant

HEALTH and safety concerns over ponds at allotments in south Harpenden could be resolved following a council meeting on Monday.

South Harpenden Allotments and Gardens Society (SHAGS) has asked Harpenden town council to allow ponds on plots to encourage frogs, newts, birds and other wildlife to breed, settle in or consume garden pests.

But the request originally raised concerns about the health and safety of young children visiting plots and the possibility that pond water could stagnate and pose health risks or exude unpleasant odours.

A SHAGS representative, Brian Cooper, said the society was willing to “come to a combined agreement” with the council over health and safety fears, such as placing a fence around ponds or covers over them. The society also accepted the need for periodic monitoring of water quality.

Brian said that “less than 20 plot holders wanted ponds.”

SHAGS manages nine allotment sites throughout south Harpenden, totalling about 400 plots near the likes of Harpenden Rise, Heath Close and Topstreet Way.

The council asked the organisation if one communal pond per allotment site would suffice but the suggestion was rejected as plot holders wanted individual ponds.

It is proposed that multiple plot holders would be allowed just one pond.

The society has also recommended that the depth of ponds be between 30cm and 51cm to prevent the entire pond from freezing in extreme cold.

Ponds would take up an area no more than 122cm by 183cm with graded sides to ease entry for reptiles.

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