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Redbridge Allotments to be sold for Housing - sounds familiar?
05 August 2007


Hundreds of gardeners stand to lose their patch of green as a London council has drawn up plans to sell allotments in the borough.

Redbridge council in north-east London will be deciding on the sale of four allotments to raise £25m.

The council said many plots were unused and they were left with no other option to raise the much needed funds.

It promised new plots to owners but the owners are not happy with the offer and insist the plots are "thriving".

'Turfed off'

Paul Dye, the chairman of an allotment society in Ilford, east London, said: "I could be sympathetic with the council if it were the case that this was a derelict site and not being used, but it isn't.

"It's a thriving site. There are something over a 100 people on it," he said.

Oscar Marvel, 72, who grows potatoes on his plot, echoes the sentiment: "How would you feel if you was turfed off a part of your life. Because I'm a retired man and this is my pleasure."

Another gardener, Sue Cunningham, said: "I was on a waiting list to get this plot and now we hear that they are trying to sell it and this site is really so good."

Ronnie Barden, from Redbridge council, said: "We have nowhere else to go.

"Government has put us in a straight jacket and I think the intention is to get us to sell the allotments because they know that's the only thing we can do."

If the council's plans get the government approval then the allotments could be sold in two years.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/07/31 20:50:10 GMT



Redbridge Council criticised in Parliament over allotment sales
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes tabled the following motion in the House of Commons today

This House notes that Conservative controlled Redbridge Council has drawn up secret plans to sell off a large number of local land sites, including popular allotments and car parks in a desperate effort to raise up to £150 million; further notes that many of these sites are in Ilford South the most overcrowded and poorest part of the Borough, including allotments in Goodmayes Park extension and Vicarage Lane South; congratulates all those involved in the campaign by local residents again the secret Tory plans and welcomes the letter to the Member for Ilford South on 23rd March 2007 from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government, Baroness Andrews, which confirms that “where a statutory allotment is disposed of; the 1908 Allotment Act requires that any proceeds must be used for the purposes of allotments, and only surplus may be used for other purposes”; that Planning Policy Guidance 17 “provides protection of urban green spaces” and draws the attention of Redbridge Conservative Councillors to the statement of the Minister that “open spaces which local communities need should not be built on”.

Source: Website of Mike Gapes MP Ilford South



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