Farm Terrace Allotment holders vow to take fight 'all the way' on BBC 1 The One Show

Sara Jane Trebar being interviewed by The One Show reporter, Lucy Siegle

Sara Jane Trebar being interviewed by The One Show reporter, Lucy Siegle

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

West Watford allotment holders have vowed to take their fight to save the Farm Terrace site "all the way" even if they lose their High Court battle.

Sara Jane Trebar, spokesman for tenants of the under threat site, said plot-holders were willing to tie themselves to the rails to prevent bulldozers moving in on the allotments.

Her comments were aired on BBC 1’s The One Show last night and come as the allotment-holders await the decision of a High Court judge on the plots

Last month campaigners took the decision by Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, to allow the allotments to be built over as part of the health campus to judicial review.

Mr Justice Ouseley is expected to return his decision in the coming weeks.

Speaking on the programme, Mrs Trebar said: "Obviously we hope we win the court case. But if we don't we will take it all the way. We will tie ourselves to those rails and stop the bulldozers going in. If they think this is a big fight now they haven't seen anything yet."

Mrs Trebar also outlined the reason the allotment holders were fighting so hard to preserve the 118-year-old allotments.

Watford Observer:

Sara Jane Trebar

She added: "Originally they said they needed the land for a new hospital and of course we were not going to oppose that, because we understand the need of hospital facilities.

"But it soon became apparent that what they were actually going you build on the land was flats and houses and also a car park in particular. We wanted to fight it every step of the way.
The housing estate is still viable - they don't need to use the allotments."

During the programme, The One Show reporter Lucy Siegle interviewed Farm Terrace allotment-holders and visited the site of alternative plots they are being offer in Paddock Road, Oxhey.

Elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill was also interviewed and defended the plans to include the allotment land in the health campus scheme, which aims to regenerate the land behind Vicarage Road with around 750 new homes and businesses. The plans would also leave space for an expansion of Watford General Hospital.

Watford Observer:

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill being interviewed by The One Show reporter Lucy Siegle

Mayor Thornhill said: "The hospital, the jobs and the homes have always been a part of the planning. I think of this as a big chess board and in order to get all the pieces on the board we might move some things round. 

"So yes it may be a car park on the allotments, it may be 70 family houses. With the allotments out it gives us a blank canvas for the whole of the site. We have just got to move on and get on with turning this into something that is fit for people to live in and not this blot on the landscape that it is now."

Comments (10)

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1:35pm Fri 22 Aug 14

TRT says...

Oh right. So it's not health facilities or profitability now, but having a blank canvas which gives the architects a better shaped area to design into.

How many more reasons and excuses will the Mare come out with?
Oh right. So it's not health facilities or profitability now, but having a blank canvas which gives the architects a better shaped area to design into. How many more reasons and excuses will the Mare come out with? TRT
  • Score: 21

1:47pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Leavesdenlad says...

The Allotment holders put on a good show and it seemed typical that the mayor wasn't up to a debate with one or more of the campaigners. The mayor seemed to put over a weak case that wasn't very convincing and for a relatively senior politician she seemed to be a poor orator.

Does the mayor actually have any plan for the town other than concrete over any green space and find ever more ingenious ways to fit in high density housing into unsuitable areas.

None of the other surrounding towns seem so inner-city as Watford and you can get the tube in to London and aside from a few blocks around Harrow on the hill station and Wembley, you can get all the way to central London before seeing anything like the number of high-rise developments as in Watford.

Building a mini-Manhattan doesn't appeal to anyone. Where is the vision to sort out the traffic problems, the binge-drinking and clubbing districts round the Pond. What is being done to improve the quality of life and make the town something better than what it has become or even than what it once was?

It seems the MP has done more in a few years than the mayor has in a decade. As predicted the new pavement in the High Street already looks old and dirty. How many times has the High Street been refurbished in the last 30 years? More times than I can remember.

There is a reason Watford is looked down on by so many people. Can't we as a town at least aspire for something better rather than just to become a bigger and dirtier urban sprawl.
The Allotment holders put on a good show and it seemed typical that the mayor wasn't up to a debate with one or more of the campaigners. The mayor seemed to put over a weak case that wasn't very convincing and for a relatively senior politician she seemed to be a poor orator. Does the mayor actually have any plan for the town other than concrete over any green space and find ever more ingenious ways to fit in high density housing into unsuitable areas. None of the other surrounding towns seem so inner-city as Watford and you can get the tube in to London and aside from a few blocks around Harrow on the hill station and Wembley, you can get all the way to central London before seeing anything like the number of high-rise developments as in Watford. Building a mini-Manhattan doesn't appeal to anyone. Where is the vision to sort out the traffic problems, the binge-drinking and clubbing districts round the Pond. What is being done to improve the quality of life and make the town something better than what it has become or even than what it once was? It seems the MP has done more in a few years than the mayor has in a decade. As predicted the new pavement in the High Street already looks old and dirty. How many times has the High Street been refurbished in the last 30 years? More times than I can remember. There is a reason Watford is looked down on by so many people. Can't we as a town at least aspire for something better rather than just to become a bigger and dirtier urban sprawl. Leavesdenlad
  • Score: 9

1:51pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Thornhill says "We have just got to move on...."

We wish she would!

It wouldn't be so bad if she was straight with the people of the town, but she's not. She has shown an unattractive side to her personality in all the shenanigans over these allotments.
Thornhill says "We have just got to move on...." We wish she would! It wouldn't be so bad if she was straight with the people of the town, but she's not. She has shown an unattractive side to her personality in all the shenanigans over these allotments. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 17

1:53pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Maceo & Fred says...

Shame the report didn't have the link to the show (15 mins into the programme) - http://www.bbc.co.uk
/iplayer/episode/b04
dqd2f/the-one-show-2
1082014

Also a shame that our Mayor refused to speak to her tenants on the allotments.

I am sure they wouldn't have locked her in to the eyesore that she said the allotments were. I wonder what the other allotment tenants thought and if they are going to be next for some more house building by the Lib Dems.

To find out more without the Watford Council PR smokescreen please feel free to take a look at - http://www.gofundme.
com/save-farm-terrac
e
Shame the report didn't have the link to the show (15 mins into the programme) - http://www.bbc.co.uk /iplayer/episode/b04 dqd2f/the-one-show-2 1082014 Also a shame that our Mayor refused to speak to her tenants on the allotments. I am sure they wouldn't have locked her in to the eyesore that she said the allotments were. I wonder what the other allotment tenants thought and if they are going to be next for some more house building by the Lib Dems. To find out more without the Watford Council PR smokescreen please feel free to take a look at - http://www.gofundme. com/save-farm-terrac e Maceo & Fred
  • Score: 15

2:29pm Fri 22 Aug 14

ancientandageing says...

bit a PR flop by the Mayor.
I do wonder at the delay, is the judge on holiday or something?
bit a PR flop by the Mayor. I do wonder at the delay, is the judge on holiday or something? ancientandageing
  • Score: 12

3:16pm Fri 22 Aug 14

theturpster says...

I for one do not wish Dorothy to earn a penny of our taxes, when she cannot engage with local tax paying voters to put her side of the story across. Unfortunately she showed herself to come across as cowardly and disrespectful on national TV in front of millions of viewers. Please Dorothy for the sake of the voters and your own self respect, do the decent thing and step down.
I for one do not wish Dorothy to earn a penny of our taxes, when she cannot engage with local tax paying voters to put her side of the story across. Unfortunately she showed herself to come across as cowardly and disrespectful on national TV in front of millions of viewers. Please Dorothy for the sake of the voters and your own self respect, do the decent thing and step down. theturpster
  • Score: 21

5:02pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Turpster, I have spotted your deliberate mistake.

You asked her to do the decent thing.
Turpster, I have spotted your deliberate mistake. You asked her to do the decent thing. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 3

1:09am Sat 23 Aug 14

D_Penn says...

The reason Thornhill's defence is so weak is because the LibDem's hidden plan has been laid bare.

They were looking for the Council to be able to build hundreds of flats and quietly pocket the government's New Homes Bonus bribe under the smokescreen of telling us all we would have a new hospital. Now that the hospital cannot proceed through lack of funds, everyone can see that the promise was false and the term 'Health Campus' was just devious hype.

What we are left with now is nothing more than the building of yet another huge conglomeration of flats.

The Thornhill argument that the allotments must go or there will not be a new hospital is undeniably no longer plausible. Anyone who cares to look closely can now see that the allotments are being snatched purely so even more flats can be squeezed in and yet more money raised. The cash will then be used in ways to make the LibDems look good in their propaganda leaflets and get themselves re-elected.

Wake up Watford, otherwise this trick will be repeated year on year until the whole town is one giant housing estate.
The reason Thornhill's defence is so weak is because the LibDem's hidden plan has been laid bare. They were looking for the Council to be able to build hundreds of flats and quietly pocket the government's New Homes Bonus bribe under the smokescreen of telling us all we would have a new hospital. Now that the hospital cannot proceed through lack of funds, everyone can see that the promise was false and the term 'Health Campus' was just devious hype. What we are left with now is nothing more than the building of yet another huge conglomeration of flats. The Thornhill argument that the allotments must go or there will not be a new hospital is undeniably no longer plausible. Anyone who cares to look closely can now see that the allotments are being snatched purely so even more flats can be squeezed in and yet more money raised. The cash will then be used in ways to make the LibDems look good in their propaganda leaflets and get themselves re-elected. Wake up Watford, otherwise this trick will be repeated year on year until the whole town is one giant housing estate. D_Penn
  • Score: 13

9:09am Sat 23 Aug 14

ancientandageing says...

A tiny part of me is looking forward to seeing UKIP's David Penn and Phil Cox Occupying Farm Terrace along side the leftist SWP Anarchists and neo-hippie types that will be attracted to the cause.
Or are they all mouth and no trousers?

Mind you a far larger part of hopes the Judge is a wise one and makes the right decision
A tiny part of me is looking forward to seeing UKIP's David Penn and Phil Cox Occupying Farm Terrace along side the leftist SWP Anarchists and neo-hippie types that will be attracted to the cause. Or are they all mouth and no trousers? Mind you a far larger part of hopes the Judge is a wise one and makes the right decision ancientandageing
  • Score: -1

3:57pm Sun 24 Aug 14

#UKMum says...

"Big Yellow Taxi" sums up the FibDem approach to Farm Terrace nicely. Even the colour fits.

"They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel *, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum *
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that DDT * now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!"

And 'LaLa' out of the Teletubbies is Dorothy to a tee. The Teletubbies (FibDems) all inhabited a 'Tubbytronic Superdome' and were looked after by an "anthropomorphic blue vacuum cleaner (Rich Harrington), with a tendency to suck up all the Teletubbies' possessions" - more symbolism here - but gotta rush.
"Big Yellow Taxi" sums up the FibDem approach to Farm Terrace nicely. Even the colour fits. "They paved paradise And put up a parking lot With a pink hotel *, a boutique And a swinging hot spot Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot They took all the trees Put 'em in a tree museum * And they charged the people A dollar and a half just to see 'em Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot Hey farmer farmer Put away that DDT * now Give me spots on my apples But leave me the birds and the bees Please!" And 'LaLa' out of the Teletubbies is Dorothy to a tee. The Teletubbies (FibDems) all inhabited a 'Tubbytronic Superdome' and were looked after by an "anthropomorphic blue vacuum cleaner (Rich Harrington), with a tendency to suck up all the Teletubbies' possessions" - more symbolism here - but gotta rush. #UKMum
  • Score: 3

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