A RUNDOWN piece of land bought by Christchurch council for £1 will be turned into a community garden and allotment.

Councillors at Christchurch Borough Council’s community services committee voted in favour of recommendations to grant a one-year licence to the Christchurch Community Partnership to manage the land at Cowley’s Road in Burton.

The privately owned piece of land, which had sparked fears over fly-tipping back in 2007, was bought by the council in 2010 for £1 plus legal fees of £250 after the owner had died.

Now Christchurch Community Partnership, through the Transition Towns Project, has submitted its proposal for the use of the land.

Other options included turning the land over to grass and benches, a community orchard, a development site, a parish council store, a new play area, selling the land to neighbouring gardens or leaving it.

But council officers warned the committee that if the land was left as it was, fly tipping was likely to recur on the site, which is currently clear, and the planting season would be missed.

They also advised that with several of the options available, there was a risk the land would become a focus for anti-social behaviour.

However, local police have supported the idea of self-management as a means of engendering pride, while Transition Towns says that involving residents in the project will build community spirit and create greater awareness of the environment while hopefully cutting the likelihood of vandalism.

The proposal from them states that the Growers Group will only comprise of Burton residents tending to a number of beds for vegetable planting with additional space as is required.

The group also hopes to include a number of fruit trees along with a shed and wooden compost bins on the shady side.

There is also a place earmarked for a sump pond to attract wildlife.