Farm Terrace Allotment holders say it’s "totally out of order" the council has offered up to £1,000 for them give up their pitches before the result of the judicial review.

Watford Borough Council sent out letters outlining the compensation packages this week.

Currently the future of the controversial site is being considered by judges in the High Court, after the allotment holders challenged the legality of the council taking over the land for the Health Campus.

Richard Hunt said the compensation offer was limited to the end of the month and might expire before the court verdict has been reached.

Mr Hunt said: "They are offering compensation before we have the result of the judicial review.
"I think that’s out of order. I don’t want compensation.

"It feels like they are trying to get us to take it before the judicial review as the time limit is the end of the month.

"If the judicial review goes in our favour it won’t be an issue, I’ll get to keep my allotment."

Mr Hunt, who has held his allotment for 33 years, continued: "It’s totally out of order, the whole thing."

The council compensation offer was touted to the allotment holders in June and exceeds the minimum requirement under law.

Fellow allotment holder Bob Wallace, 72, said the compensation offers were expected.

Mr Wallace, of the Cassiobury estate, said: "We were promised some compensation, but I’m amazed it is £1,000 just for leaving - and not making a fuss I guess.

"There was a condition not to have another allotment for three years. I’ve been at Farm Terrace for 10 years, I don’t think I would want another allotment.

"I would probably take the compensation, but I will wait for the outcome of the judicial review."
Mark Jeffery, spokesman for Watford Borough Council, said: "We advised our Farm Terrace allotment tenants in June 2013, that we would provide a compensation package.

"Under law, an allotment holder whose tenancy is terminated is entitled to compensation.

"The package we have offered our tenants exceeds the minimum requirement under law. 

"We have received a number of requests to either relocate or end tenancies over the last year, which we have been able to accommodate.

"Setting a compensation package allows us to plan and arrange these more cost effectively, as we now have a better idea of people’s preferences."

Mr Jeffery continued: "The Health Campus scheme is vital for Watford. It means new homes, the opportunity to develop the hospital’s facilities, open spaces and jobs for the residents of our borough.

"Our Farm Terrace allotment site is essential in ensuring that the scheme is viable."