Watford Health Campus: group claims Government was 'misled' over allotment plans

Watford Health Campus: group claims Government was 'misled' over allotment plans

Watford Health Campus: group claims Government was 'misled' over allotment plans

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Campaigners are launching a second legal bid to save West Watford allotments by arguing the Government was "misled" over what the land would be used for in the health campus development.

A law firm acting on behalf of the Farm Terrace Allotment plot-holders has started judicial review proceedings over the decision to allow the land to be built on.

Also read: 'Majority' of allotment will be used for hospital and homes, says council.

The campaign group behind the action, Farm Terrace Community Association, issued a statement saying their argument was based on the fact the land will be used to provide Watford FC with extra parking, building new houses and also "a small number of possible hospital buildings".

In 2012 Watford Borough Council’s ruling cabinet voted to include the previously protected allotments in the health campus saying it was needed to make the scheme viable for developers. 

Andrew Moore, chairman of the association, 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".

This is the second time the association has started judicial review proceedings against the decision by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to allow the allotments to be used in the scheme.

In August last year Mr Pickles reversed his decision under pressure from the legal challenge to reconsider it.

However in December the Secretary of State awarded Watford Borough Council permission to build on the allotment land for a second time.

The council has argued the land is necessary to make regeneration scheme, which promises around 700 new homes and a new hospital, work for the developer Kier.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:20pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

If I am elected Mayor I will make all information regarding this development public and invite the allotment holders solicitors and the press to do with it as they will.

Ukip will shine a light on these dealings.

That should be very revealing.

We will also do all we can to save these allotments from being developed.
If I am elected Mayor I will make all information regarding this development public and invite the allotment holders solicitors and the press to do with it as they will. Ukip will shine a light on these dealings. That should be very revealing. We will also do all we can to save these allotments from being developed. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -6

4:28pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

It seems the phrase Health giving properties has been much abused as it is much more to do with concrete and this illusion that houses and rents become affordable if we build more or the queues of people waiting will be shorter. Meanwhile the crisis in our schools is out of control. Today I met a young mother who sends her son to Bricket Wood and she lives in Central Watford.

There seems to end in sight as the so called official population of our small town has grown by over 13% in ten years and will accelerate as build.

We are the most densely populated town district in England and Wales.
It seems the phrase Health giving properties has been much abused as it is much more to do with concrete and this illusion that houses and rents become affordable if we build more or the queues of people waiting will be shorter. Meanwhile the crisis in our schools is out of control. Today I met a young mother who sends her son to Bricket Wood and she lives in Central Watford. There seems to end in sight as the so called official population of our small town has grown by over 13% in ten years and will accelerate as build. We are the most densely populated town district in England and Wales. Cuetip
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Tue 18 Mar 14

gusgreen says...

Government misled? the whole of Watford has been misled over this farce by dotty Dot and her cohorts. The wealth campus is about one thing and one thing only - MONEY
Government misled? the whole of Watford has been misled over this farce by dotty Dot and her cohorts. The wealth campus is about one thing and one thing only - MONEY gusgreen
  • Score: 4

5:34pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Maceo & Fred says...

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
If I am elected Mayor I will make all information regarding this development public and invite the allotment holders solicitors and the press to do with it as they will.

Ukip will shine a light on these dealings.

That should be very revealing.

We will also do all we can to save these allotments from being developed.
Unfortunately Watford council and Kier have now set up separate company so the decision making process on what happens on the housing/health campus is outside pubic scrutiny and freedom of information legislation. This is despite a number of high ranking Watford council employees sitting on the board of the separate company whilst making sure that they do not have any paper records of meetings or electronic versions saved on their computers. They would be subject to Freedom of Information requests as council officials so would have to produce these notes. This all very sneaky despite the fact that the Council is investing money on behalf of its residents, the very people who voted them in who now cannot scrutinise if this money is being invested wisely.
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: If I am elected Mayor I will make all information regarding this development public and invite the allotment holders solicitors and the press to do with it as they will. Ukip will shine a light on these dealings. That should be very revealing. We will also do all we can to save these allotments from being developed.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately Watford council and Kier have now set up separate company so the decision making process on what happens on the housing/health campus is outside pubic scrutiny and freedom of information legislation. This is despite a number of high ranking Watford council employees sitting on the board of the separate company whilst making sure that they do not have any paper records of meetings or electronic versions saved on their computers. They would be subject to Freedom of Information requests as council officials so would have to produce these notes. This all very sneaky despite the fact that the Council is investing money on behalf of its residents, the very people who voted them in who now cannot scrutinise if this money is being invested wisely. Maceo & Fred
  • Score: -6

8:29pm Tue 18 Mar 14

dontknowynot says...

Whilst Judicial review is notoriously unpredictable, Farm terrace have always had a very strong case, the biggest hurdle has always been the money, well they seem to be able to fund raise and as such must stand a good chance, I would point out that The council may well find itself with a hefty bill from two sets of Legal teams here maybe totaling 100K, for not building on the allotments.
Whilst Judicial review is notoriously unpredictable, Farm terrace have always had a very strong case, the biggest hurdle has always been the money, well they seem to be able to fund raise and as such must stand a good chance, I would point out that The council may well find itself with a hefty bill from two sets of Legal teams here maybe totaling 100K, for not building on the allotments. dontknowynot
  • Score: -3

10:45pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Wee jimmy says...

New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump.
New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump. Wee jimmy
  • Score: -5

7:05am Wed 19 Mar 14

#UKMum says...

Wee jimmy wrote:
New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump.
Heh babe 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side' - http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=0KaWSOlAS
Wc
[quote][p][bold]Wee jimmy[/bold] wrote: New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump.[/p][/quote]Heh babe 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side' - http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=0KaWSOlAS Wc #UKMum
  • Score: -4

8:55pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Wee jimmy wrote:
New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump.
Jimmy you are so right
[quote][p][bold]Wee jimmy[/bold] wrote: New homes and better hospital sound a lot better than what's behind the stadium right now. Last time I looked it was a dump.[/p][/quote]Jimmy you are so right Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree