A Watford campaigner has blasted the Government’s response to a petition she launched to protect allotment land.

Sara Jane Trebar, who leads the fight to stop Watford's historic Farm Terrace allotments being built on in the Health Campus plan, started the petition to address why councils across the UK are selling off allotment land to developers.

The petition, which was launched on February 4, gained more than 6,000 supporters.

Minister for Communities Stephen Williams said in his response that the government actively supports allotments and the amount of allotment provision have increased since 2010. 

He said: "Where we have consented to the disposal of allotments, alternative plots have been provided.

"The government has introduced a range of measure to help communities who want land to grow fruit and vegetables. As part of our commitment to supporting local community groups, the department has also published a best practice guide for community groups."

Ms Trebar said: " The Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) response repeats its mantra that the new guidance strengthened allotment protection. The guidance has not strengthened allotment protection.

"The DCLG says that replacement sites have been provided when consent has been granted. There is no point creating new sites or providing replacement sites if the people for whom they are created can’t get to them. Look at what Watford tried to do – they tried to move us all to a site over 2 miles away on the outskirts of town that many of us couldn't get to.

"The distance under the policy criteria should be moved by a change of law to the statutory criteria to strengthen protection. We will continue with our petition and with our campaign until we see this done."