The decision to grant consent to build on Farm Terrace alloments has been quashed.

The review challenged Eric Pickles's decision to allow Watford Borough Council to use the site for the mooted Watford Health Campus and was heard almost three months ago.

The alloment holders called it "a huge victory, not just for allotment holders but also for the average person who feels let down by their local councils and government."

Statement from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust:

Samantha Jones, chief executive said: "We are of course disappointed to hear the news from the High Court. We will now work with our Watford Health Campus partners to agree our next steps.

"In the meantime, we look forward to work starting in the next few months on a brand new £18 million road to Watford Hospital which will help speed up access for ambulances, patients, visitors and staff."

Andy Moore, Massimo Trebar, and Bob Wakeling from the allotments group have released this statement:

"We are very pleased to announce that in the judicial review case of three tenants of Farm Terrace Allotments, Watford v SSCLG, Mr Justice Ouseley has now ruled that the second decision to deregulate our allotment site be quashed.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this decision and feel we have been fully vindicated in our campaign to save our beloved allotments that have served the community and residents of West Watford since 1896.

"Because of this monumental decision, we now hope that central government will take extra care when deciding on future applications to close allotment sites.

"Finally, we wish to thank our fantastic legal team who truly believed that an injustice had been made in our case, not once but twice and to everyone from the National Allotment Society, other allotment associations, allotment tenants and supporters from all over the UK and internationally who donated to our fighting fund.

"This is a huge victory, not just for allotment holders but also for the average person who feels let down by their local councils and government. It shows that it is possible to fight injustice and win."

Watford Borough Council statement:

“Mr Ousley dismisses all the issues raised by the Farm Terrace Association except for the point that the Secretary of State was not notified of a material change being considered in relation to a proposed increase in the number of houses. 

“Given this ‘quite narrow ground’ the council will consider appealing and will most definitely ask the Secretary of State to make the decision again, addressing the issue Mr Justice Ousley has referred to. 

“We remain resolutely determined that the allotments are key to providing a scheme which will deliver on its promise to regenerate west Watford providing new homes, business and community facilities, and much-needed space for Watford Hospital. We are also confident that the Secretary of State will arrive at the same conclusion in re-taking the decision.

“In the meantime, we continue to work with our partners to progress other elements of the scheme, with work starting on the important new link road in the New Year."

Stephen Williams MP, communities minister, reacting to the news said:

"This scheme has been supported by the local council, the local MP, Richard Harrington and Watford's elected Mayor, and would deliver new NHS hospital facilities, significant regeneration, as well as replacement allotments.

"The department took the decision based on the evidence provided by the council at the time. The High Court has rejected the legal challenges, apart from one narrow point of law on the council not updating the department on a potential change to the regeneration plans. There is no suggestion that this was the fault of the department. It is now up to the Council whether they wish to put forward the application for consideration.

"This government actively supports allotments and food growing. Since 2010, where this government has consented to the disposal of allotments, alternative plots have been provided, and the total amount of allotment provision has actually increased as a result. Surveys by the National Allotment Society show that more than 2,000 new allotment places have been created in the last few years, and allotment waiting times have fallen."