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Campaign group accuses Watford Borough Council of lying about allotments

 Published on: 18th March 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Watford Council misled the Secretary of State about the intended use of Farm Terrace Allotments, campaigners battling to save the plots say. Legal representatives acting on behalf plot holders at Farm Terrace Allotments, Watford, have officially started the Judicial Review process to contest use of the land for a development by issuing papers at the Royal Courts of Justice, the second challenge the plots holders have made during a battle to save their site that started in the summer of 2011. The tenants won their first legal battle against the Department for Communities in August 2013 when the Secretary of State backed down, reversing his original decision to grant permission to close the allotments. The second decision taken by the Department for Communities and Local Government in December 2013 granted permission to Watford Council for a second time to close the site and redevelop the allotments. Save Farm Terrace, the group battling to save the allotments, say it has since come to light that the land will be used for car parking for Watford Football Club, as well as housing and a small number of possible hospital buildings. A statement from the group reads: “The allotment tenants will challenge the legal validity of the Secretary of State’s decision, on grounds that include the assertion that the Secretary of State was misled about the allotment land being critical to the viability of the development project.” Watford Borough Council also failed to update the Secretary of State, the group claims, about certain key information and changes to the project such as the car park. Andrew Moore Chairman said: “It is a shame that it has had to come to this, but we are convinced that the Court will see through the Council’s PR and recognise that the allotments are being built on to generate profits for the private sector and a car park for footballers, rather than hospital buildings that we now know are unlikely to ever materialise.”    

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