GREEN-FINGERED residents now have more space to garden after the official handover of new allotments.

Halstead Town Council has acquired 12 garden allotment sites at the new St Andrew’s Gate development in the town.

The plots were handed over by developers David Wilson Homes last week.

Unlike the majority of the town’s existing allotments, which are owned by Braintree Council, the new plots are owned by the town council.

The allotments have already gone down a storm with residents.

Since the council made the plots available to rent, 11 have already been snapped up by keen gardeners, nine of whom are residents on the new development.

The handover of the allotments was marked by a celebratory visit from local dignitaries.

Developers welcomed Halstead mayor Mick Radley to the occasion along with town clerk Sarah Greatorex.

Mr Radley said: “I’m very pleased to have been invited to this commemorative event to recognise the handing over of 12 allotment plots from David Wilson Homes to Halstead Town Council.

“Halstead already has 193 allotment plots across five locations in the town, most of which are tended by a keen group of gardeners.

“The addition of these plots will provide allotments for the residents of the St Andrew’s Gate development and the surrounding area.

“Allotments provide interest and enjoyment to enthusiastic gardeners as well as providing fresh and healthy produce.

“I am sure that the new plot-holders are keen to get going and I wish them all every success for the future.”

Also in attendance at the opening were representatives from Braintree Council, including chairman Angela Kilmartin and leader of Halstead Residents’ Association Jackie Pell.

Simon Wood, managing director at David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, said: “We were thrilled to be joined by the representatives of Halstead Town Council and Braintree District Council for the handover of the allotments at our St Andrew’s Gate development.

“The allotments are fantastic facilities for gardening enthusiasts to enjoy and it’s great to hear some of the residents at our new community in Halstead have already secured their plots.”