The National Allotment Society (NAS) says it is ‘very disappointed’ about a High Court ruling to allow closure of an allotment site in Watford, near London, to make way for a health complex and housing.
National Allotment Society
Farm Terrace Allotments had become a landmark case in the fight to protect allotment sites from the pressure to build more housing, attracting support from concerned gardeners around the country. However, a judge ruled that the government was right to allow Watford Borough Council to move the plot holders and build on their lovingly-tended allotments.
The organisation praised the allotment holders for their ‘unstinting effort’ during their four-year fight to save the historic site, founded in 1896, and said the case had clarified important points which would help it defend other sites in future.
Dozens of other allotments are now under threat from development, including historic sites like London’s oldest allotments at Northfield Road in Ealing, West London, founded in 1832. The NAS says it now gets at least one call a week about the potential development of allotment sites as cash- strapped councils start eyeing them up as potential housing estates; and a recent survey of allotment holders revealed land sale as the most pressing concern for almost three-quarters of respondents.