PRESS RELEASE

ALLOTMENT HOLDERS ANNOUNCE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST ERIC PICKLES

 We are proud to announce that we the Farm Terrace Community Association plan to take our case to keep our allotment site to Judicial review.

 Farm terrace allotments are situated in the centre of Watford behind Vicarage road Football club. We have over 100 plots with around 80 plot holders.

 Farm terrace allotments have been under threat from developers since June 2012. In May the Secretary of state agreed that under the 1925 section 8 of the allotment act the change of use of land could be granted.

 Since 2007 there have been 132 separate applications to close down allotments under section 8 of the 1925 Allotments Act. Out of these 132 applications 97% were approved (128 cases) and only 4 cases refused. No decision to allow Councils to concrete allotments has ever been challenged in the High Court before. There has never been any Judicial guidance on this decision making power that the Secretary of State has.  We believe our case will not only save Farm Terrace allotments but it will also strike a blow for ALL allotments all over England and make it much harder for council’s to sell their sites to developers

 We have always believed that this decision was illegal and immoral and now we plan to prove it in the High Court. We are working with a legal team that is extremely highly regarded including a very well established Queen’s Counsel.  We aim to fund our campaign through  http://www.gofundme.com/3ig1fo

 It is our intention to show that the Secretary of State Eric Pickles has not applied his policy properly nor legally. Leading counsel who specialises in public law has advised that the Secretary of States’ decision is unlawful and following this decision we have decided to challenge his disturbing decision in the high court.

 Since 2007 there have been 132 separate applications to close down allotments under section 8 of the 1925 Allotments Act. Out of these 132 applications 97% were approved (128 cases) and only 4 cases refused. No decision to allow Councils to concrete allotments has ever been challenged in the High Court before. There has never been any Judicial guidance on this decision making power that the Secretary of State has.  We believe our case will not only save Farm Terrace allotments but it will also strike a blow for ALL allotments all over England and make it much harder for council’s to sell their sites to developers.

We are currently running a very successful social media campaign via twitter and face book.

For more information please contact our spokeswoman Sara Jane Trebar on at sjtrebar3@gmail.com

We will be holding an open day this Saturday the 13th of July for members of the public and press to come along and talk to us about this latest development. Farm terrace allotments are situated at the rear of Vicarage rd Football club in west Watford. The open day is from 11-4.00 and we hope you can join us!

Here are links to some of the newspaper articles that have already been written about our fight –

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/31/turf-war-escalates-britains-allotments

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/vegetables/allotments/9899459/Help-developers-are-threatening-my-allotment.html

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-20897045

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/betrayal-of-the-gardeners–have-councils-lost-the-plot-over-plans-to-sell-allotments-8037160.html

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