Farm Terrace allotment campaigners 'absolutely gutted' over Watford Health Campus decision

Watford Observer: Campaigners 'absolutely gutted' over allotment decision Campaigners 'absolutely gutted' over allotment decision

An allotment campaign group has vowed to continue fighting to save a patch of West Watford allotments, after the Government has granted permission to build on it as part of the Watford Health Campus.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, announced today that he has approved building on the Farm Terrace allotments as part of project, which includes a new hospital and 600 homes.

The hundred year old allotments were not included in the original plans, drawn up in 2007, but in December last year Watford Borough Council said the land was needed to make the site economically viable.

The Farm Terrace Community Association fought a bitter campaign against the use of the allotment site, which is owned by the council, as part of the project.

The case was presented to the secretary of state, who decided today that there were "overwhelming reasons" why the land was essential Watford Health Campus project.

Sara Jane Trebar, from the Farm Terrace Community Association, said: "We’re absolutely gutted this has been given the green light, this is an absolute land grab and the hospital won’t benefit.

"We now have to seek solicitors’ advice to undertake a judicial review of the decision."

The council’s submission to the secretary of state stated that the overall level of allotments will remain the same, and the Farm Terrace allotment holders would be offered an alternative patch within the borough.

It has also announced an £800,000 investment plan to improve and upgrade all its allotments in Watford. Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor of Watford said: "A decision to allow the disposal of allotment land is important and controversial.

"That's why the Secretary of State is a vital arbiter, who weighs up all the reasons and evaluates the need to do it.

"I am pleased that the decision has gone in our favour. This means the new hospital facilities will be far more achievable, and our plans to regenerate a section of West Watford that currently lies derelict more viable.

"I know many of the Farm Terrace allotment holders will be disappointed, but we will be re-providing them all with replacement allotments and creating much more open green space for all to enjoy."

Samantha Jones, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, added: "The positive decision provides extra scope for our plans. "We are grateful to the allotment holders for their support for the use of hospital facilities as we fully appreciate their position."

Comments (16)

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4:44pm Wed 8 May 13

Joliet68 says...

Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense.

If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.
Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense. If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots. Joliet68
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Wed 8 May 13

Mike Watford says...

Joliet68 wrote:
Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense. If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.
>>> may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.

I think the council are offering to do that too - as well as the extra £800,000 investment on sites across the borough.

Having had to visit the hospital last week, it is clear that large parts of the current hospital and site need modernising for the future.
[quote][p][bold]Joliet68[/bold] wrote: Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense. If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.[/p][/quote]>>> may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots. I think the council are offering to do that too - as well as the extra £800,000 investment on sites across the borough. Having had to visit the hospital last week, it is clear that large parts of the current hospital and site need modernising for the future. Mike Watford
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Wed 8 May 13

Andrew Turpie says...

Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account.

I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-)
Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account. I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-) Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Wed 8 May 13

dontknowynot says...

VERY SAD :-(
VERY SAD :-( dontknowynot
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Wed 8 May 13

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

A travesty.
A travesty. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Wed 8 May 13

#luvreadingthesamemuppetscommentingasexperts says...

Joliet68 wrote:
Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense.

If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.
Does it take years to grow the dumped freezers, wheels, and general rubbish you see when waking up from Cardiff Road to Occupation Road as well then?!

Then the sheds that have all but fallen down, no roofs left, sides missing.

It's a shambles of an allotments compared to most others around Watford!
[quote][p][bold]Joliet68[/bold] wrote: Replacement allotments? That's alright then. Never mind that it takes years to get a plot in any kind of state to grow anything, let alone the cost of putting new greenhouses, fences and composting bins together. The mayor is very flippant about something which will have consumed a lot of time, money and effort of the people who tend these allotments. Just bunging a new plot their way is no recompense. If this is going to happen (as it looks like it might) a way of appeasing the mob may be to put a scheme in place which helps allotment owners get new plots up to the same standard as their old plots.[/p][/quote]Does it take years to grow the dumped freezers, wheels, and general rubbish you see when waking up from Cardiff Road to Occupation Road as well then?! Then the sheds that have all but fallen down, no roofs left, sides missing. It's a shambles of an allotments compared to most others around Watford! #luvreadingthesamemuppetscommentingasexperts
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Wed 8 May 13

Wacko Jacko says...

Very pleased to hear the Pickles decision. A victory for common sense. The benefits of a new hospital, new homes and new jobs for the wider community massively outweigh the self interest of a small number of allotment holders. Hopefully now the council can now get on and make a start on the Health Campus
Very pleased to hear the Pickles decision. A victory for common sense. The benefits of a new hospital, new homes and new jobs for the wider community massively outweigh the self interest of a small number of allotment holders. Hopefully now the council can now get on and make a start on the Health Campus Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

3:32am Thu 9 May 13

Mark Watkin says...

It is truly a shame that the scheme required the use of the allotment land. It is NOT true that the allotments were any worse than other sites, and some plots had been cared for superbly.

Although the replacement provision is to be located in Oxhey, there are quite a number of vacant plots on the Holywell and Brightwell sites which could be much more convenient for west Watford plot holders.

No feelings of triumph, but more relief that the way ahead for this transformational scheme is now clear.
It is truly a shame that the scheme required the use of the allotment land. It is NOT true that the allotments were any worse than other sites, and some plots had been cared for superbly. Although the replacement provision is to be located in Oxhey, there are quite a number of vacant plots on the Holywell and Brightwell sites which could be much more convenient for west Watford plot holders. No feelings of triumph, but more relief that the way ahead for this transformational scheme is now clear. Mark Watkin
  • Score: 0

7:35am Thu 9 May 13

Andrew Turpie says...

Wacko Jacko says a victory for common sense.

Your common sense differs from the people who already live and work in the area.

Our common sense tells us that Watford already has a lot of vacant jobs.

Our common sense tells us that the hospital can be expanded without touching the allotments.

Our common sense tells us that there is no direct link to building houses and the level of patient care given.

Our common sense tells us that for years those that work in the educational establishments around the WD18 postcode, have told us that there is not enough school places at the moment, never mind throwing another 600 households into the mix.

Our common sense tells us the two who seem to be making the most noise about this, Mr Watkin and Harrington are either private landlords who make money from property or have day to day dealings with property developers. The dots can be joined anytime you want.


I expect you don't live in the area affected?
Wacko Jacko says a victory for common sense. Your common sense differs from the people who already live and work in the area. Our common sense tells us that Watford already has a lot of vacant jobs. Our common sense tells us that the hospital can be expanded without touching the allotments. Our common sense tells us that there is no direct link to building houses and the level of patient care given. Our common sense tells us that for years those that work in the educational establishments around the WD18 postcode, have told us that there is not enough school places at the moment, never mind throwing another 600 households into the mix. Our common sense tells us the two who seem to be making the most noise about this, Mr Watkin and Harrington are either private landlords who make money from property or have day to day dealings with property developers. The dots can be joined anytime you want. I expect you don't live in the area affected? Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 0

9:11am Thu 9 May 13

Mike Watford says...

Andrew - don't forget that hundreds of people who live locally work at the hospital.
I'm sure for jobs they want a hospital to be retained in Watford.
The hospital have said they need part of that land for their new buildings - and it serves hundreds of thousands of patients, especially benefitting Watford residents.
Andrew - don't forget that hundreds of people who live locally work at the hospital. I'm sure for jobs they want a hospital to be retained in Watford. The hospital have said they need part of that land for their new buildings - and it serves hundreds of thousands of patients, especially benefitting Watford residents. Mike Watford
  • Score: 0

9:26am Thu 9 May 13

Mohandas says...

Calling it a health campus has been huge cover for what has really been about building hundreds of homes in a very congested part of town.

Covering ever decreasing fertile bits of land with mountains of steel, tarmac, concrete and glass is seen as creating a healthy campus environment.

From a profit driven angle it's so easy to erect these conveyor like cathedral hospitals to pump up the drug industries. These so called health 'end of the road' services make money out of a growing lifestyle that supports fast food outlets as opposed to dealing with the causes of a poor health eg putting families in boxes, cutting down on the provision of exercise for all.

This mega 'health campus' will probably lead to more reductions in services at other local hospitals leaving them open to another type of 'housing campus' and so the cycle continues. Meanwhile the decision makers will have moved on to a healthy pension pot which will probably support private health care.
Calling it a health campus has been huge cover for what has really been about building hundreds of homes in a very congested part of town. Covering ever decreasing fertile bits of land with mountains of steel, tarmac, concrete and glass is seen as creating a healthy campus environment. From a profit driven angle it's so easy to erect these conveyor like cathedral hospitals to pump up the drug industries. These so called health 'end of the road' services make money out of a growing lifestyle that supports fast food outlets as opposed to dealing with the causes of a poor health eg putting families in boxes, cutting down on the provision of exercise for all. This mega 'health campus' will probably lead to more reductions in services at other local hospitals leaving them open to another type of 'housing campus' and so the cycle continues. Meanwhile the decision makers will have moved on to a healthy pension pot which will probably support private health care. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

9:37am Thu 9 May 13

Andrew Turpie says...

Mike, myself as others who don't wish 600 more properties on their door step understand the need for a decent hospital. Where the employees live is irrelevant, millions need to commute miles to work everyday. Very few will tell you having to travel affects the ability to do the job they are paid to do.


Oh and if Mr Watkin and Mr Harrington reads my post above, please don't take my comment personally. I dislike all landlords and developers with equal passion. Destroyers of society and have managed in the last couple of decades have had the word "home" removed from the dictionary and to them its just a way of making housing unaffordable for first time buyers, hoovering up what they can to line their own selfish pockets :-)
Mike, myself as others who don't wish 600 more properties on their door step understand the need for a decent hospital. Where the employees live is irrelevant, millions need to commute miles to work everyday. Very few will tell you having to travel affects the ability to do the job they are paid to do. Oh and if Mr Watkin and Mr Harrington reads my post above, please don't take my comment personally. I dislike all landlords and developers with equal passion. Destroyers of society and have managed in the last couple of decades have had the word "home" removed from the dictionary and to them its just a way of making housing unaffordable for first time buyers, hoovering up what they can to line their own selfish pockets :-) Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Thu 9 May 13

scarecrow says...

Andrew Turpie wrote:
Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account. I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-)
Andrew...all this is true, expect the bit about /lab/ mafias !
The Watford Labour party have been in full support of keeping the allotments, from day one. They know this is a money spinning scheme, that has nothing to do with the Health Campus.
This is just GREED!!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew Turpie[/bold] wrote: Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account. I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-)[/p][/quote]Andrew...all this is true, expect the bit about /lab/ mafias ! The Watford Labour party have been in full support of keeping the allotments, from day one. They know this is a money spinning scheme, that has nothing to do with the Health Campus. This is just GREED!! scarecrow
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Fri 10 May 13

Andrew Turpie says...

scarecrow wrote:
Andrew Turpie wrote:
Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account. I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-)
Andrew...all this is true, expect the bit about /lab/ mafias !
The Watford Labour party have been in full support of keeping the allotments, from day one. They know this is a money spinning scheme, that has nothing to do with the Health Campus.
This is just GREED!!
It could be mooted that if Labour, when in power, had a firm grip on controlled migration and made sure that the infrastructure grew in tandem with the population (or control the numbers of those entering the UK to reflect the current infrastructure), then we may not be in the mess we are now. But, that is a different subject.

Labour lost control over many issues and Lib/Cons have been too slow or ignored electorates concerns (until the recent loss to UKIP) , hence why in my eyes all three are just all wolves in different sheep's clothing.
[quote][p][bold]scarecrow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew Turpie[/bold] wrote: Could we have expected anything else from the self serving lib/lab/con mafias. Saddens me but not surprised that the locals wishes wouldn't be taken into account. I can't believe they are still using the words health and campus into the allotment stories, when its only the surrounding flats and houses which will occupy, but the gullible keep ignoring that fact ;-)[/p][/quote]Andrew...all this is true, expect the bit about /lab/ mafias ! The Watford Labour party have been in full support of keeping the allotments, from day one. They know this is a money spinning scheme, that has nothing to do with the Health Campus. This is just GREED!![/p][/quote]It could be mooted that if Labour, when in power, had a firm grip on controlled migration and made sure that the infrastructure grew in tandem with the population (or control the numbers of those entering the UK to reflect the current infrastructure), then we may not be in the mess we are now. But, that is a different subject. Labour lost control over many issues and Lib/Cons have been too slow or ignored electorates concerns (until the recent loss to UKIP) , hence why in my eyes all three are just all wolves in different sheep's clothing. Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Sun 12 May 13

EU_OUT_NOW says...

I can understand how the allotment holders must feel once having had an allotment... It's **** hard work to get it in shape... But I was quite aware that I bought a permit to use the allotment for one year with a 30 day notice to quite from WBC when required... I guess one has to look at the realistic bigger picture.. sadly!
I can understand how the allotment holders must feel once having had an allotment... It's **** hard work to get it in shape... But I was quite aware that I bought a permit to use the allotment for one year with a 30 day notice to quite from WBC when required... I guess one has to look at the realistic bigger picture.. sadly! EU_OUT_NOW
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Sun 12 May 13

Andrew1963 says...

Has the government announced funding for a new hospital then?
Has the government announced funding for a new hospital then? Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

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