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Farm Terrace Allotment campaigners plan to launch second legal challenge
Campaigners are planning to launch a legal challenge for the second time against proposals to concrete over West Watford allotments.
Farm Terrace Community Association has announced it is aiming to take the Government’s decision to allow Farm Terrace Allotments to be built on as part of the health campus development to judicial review.
The group already prompted the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, to reconsider its approval for Watford Borough Council to build on the 118-year-old site by starting judicial review proceedings last year.
However, just before Christmas, Mr Pickles granted the council permission for a second time.
Today the association said it was raising funds to take the decision to judicial review again.
Andrew Moore, Chairman of the Farm Terrace Community Association, said "We believe that Watford Council and the Secretary of State are putting profits before the healthy lifestyle offered by allotments.
"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."
The allotments had previously been protected in the longstanding health campus scheme, which aims to redevelop land behind Vicarage Road with a new hospital and homes.
However, in 2012 Watford Borough Council voted to include the allotments saying the land was necessary to make the scheme viable for developers. Current plans will see around 700 homes built on the land as well as space for a new school.
Details of the hospital aspect of the scheme remain unclear and will not be outlined until West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust finalises its clinical review, which could take up to 18 months.
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