Watford Health Campus: group claims Government was 'misled' over allotment plans (From Watford Observer)
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Watford Health Campus: group claims Government was 'misled' over allotment plans
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.
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.
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