Background to the Waverley Terrace Allotment Project
The Waverley Terrace Allotment Group (WAG) originated in 2007 and was driven by Hartlepool Borough Council and a number of local partners including Hartlepool MIND, DISC, Nacro, Kirklevington HMP and Hartlepool College of Further Education. The primary aim of the project, as outlined in the group’s constitution is:
“To ensure Waverley Terrace Allotment is a safe, practical and pleasant environment for partners and users of the site to learn, share skills and enjoy. We aspire to develop the facility into a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource that benefits partners and the wider community” (WAG 2007).
The provision of a site for use by adults with a range of mental, social and physical issues where they could positively contribute to the community was developed further with involvement of the Future Jobs Fund Initiative in 2010-2011 whereby a practical training and work experience element was added to the therapeutic service. The integration of the employment aspect allowed the site to develop further and post-Future Jobs Fund Initiative there remains considerable opportunity for expansion and enhancement.
The existing site
Waverley Terrace allotments are situated in the Rift House Ward of Hartlepool adjacent to the Rift House Recreation ground. The site is categorised as allotment land, although prior to the development of the Waverley Terrace project the land had been cleared and left as grassed open space adjacent to the Rift House Recreation ground (though it remained allotment land in terms of planning land use). The former allotment sites suffered from misuse and neglect with high instances of fly-tipping, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour visible. Following the involvement of the Waverley Terrace project 2,230m2 of allotment land was re-fenced with a 2.4m high metal railing (to match the adjacent 13 allotment plots refurbished during the clearance works) and a vehicular access was installed along with a parking/service area to minimise impact on local residents. This was broken down into 280m2 of community space, 450m2 of car parking and utility space and 1.500m2 of production space.
This site currently incorporates a composting toilet facility, two portacabins for use as office and welfare space, two large glasshouses, a potting shed and a number of raised beds for facilitating access for less able users.
In 2013 the remaining allotment land (approximately 5,900m2 also previously cleared and grassed over) was re-fenced with another vehicular access point and a renewed water main with standpipes installed. The extended site has planning permission for a number of potting sheds/polytunnels. The two sites are separated by an access path with motorcycle barriers in place; this was retained due to its heavy use by local residents in the period following the original allotment site clearance. Pedestrian gates allow for access between sites without the need to enter the adjacent highway.