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Labour councillors oppose plans to use Farm Terrace allotments land as part of Watford Health Campus
A controversial decision to use historic allotment land as part of the Watford Health Campus has been challenged by opposition politicians.
Three Labour councillors have called-in the decision made by Watford Borough Council’s Liberal Democrat cabinet to use the Farm Terrace site for new hospital buildings and homes.
The plan to build on the allotments as part of the redevelopment of land behind Vicarage Road will be debated at an overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Thursday.
However the committee only has the power to send the decision back to the cabinet and not overturn it.
Earlier this month the cabinet voted to include the allotments in the development that will see Watford General Hospital redeveloped and around 600 new homes built.
The allotments were protected in the original plans for the multi-million pound project, but in July the plot-holders were told the land may need to be built on to make the health campus economically viable.
The move provoked an angry backlash from allotment-holders who have vowed to fight it.
The decision has been called in by the Labour group leader, Nigel Bell, deputy leader, Jagtar Singh Dhindsa and Vicarage councillor Mo Mills, who are challenging number of the reasons given for sacrificing Farm Terrace.
A report for the meeting said it was to: "To question the cabinet decision that Farm Terrace should be included to make the Campus viable.
"To question why alternative sites other than Farm Terrace were not explored and recommended?
"In light of the Government’s autumn statement to ask that ‘PFI 2’ be investigated for funding for the Health Campus.
"To question the consultation process as members of the Farm Terrace Group and others complained about the information or lack of it that they were given."