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Save Farm Terrace – please make your voices heard!

December 30, 2012 News No Comments

A historic (1896) terraced allotment is under threat. 

An outline planning application made in 2007, relating to development of the Health Campus in Watford excluded the closure of this allotment.

 

However, by December 2012, it seems that Watford Borough Council have achieved a complete U-turn of that original decision and wish to grant full rights to the land to developers, to provide additional parking, to improve patient and staff experience and more importantly – to build 600 ‘high quality homes’.

The tenants of this historic site with 128 plots across a 2.63 hectare site need help to save and preserve this important piece of local heritage.

Just 2 minutes of your time is all that it takes to make your voice heard HERE or leave a comment on this page

 

 

 However, at a relatively early stage, potential private sector bidders identified the possible need for the allotments within the scheme as a significant issue. This was in terms of ensuring the proposed masterplan was market facing / financially viable and that there was adequate space within the site to deliver aspirations for family homes and hospital expansion. The latter has since been reinforced by WHHT – in terms of its requirements for sufficient space in which to re-provide hospital facilities and services.

In September 2012, Watford BC and West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust [WHHT] appointed developers, Kier Project Investment Ltd to deliver this project as part of a PFI (Private Finance Initiative).

Since this time, work has been ongoing to arrive at financial and legal agreement between the partnership and Kier and the development of a master plan that will go forward for planning approval.

There seems to be some confusion within the Council as to the key benefits of the scheme, whether as a vehicle for improving the hospital structure or as a significant cash cow from the sale of the land for the new private housing; either argument, or both, now assumes the delivery of the historic allotments as part of their financial and legal agreement which has been discussed behing closed doors. The Watford Observer had similar comments to make.. more

 

Opposition politicians have failed to force a rethink on plans and an attempt to send the Farm Terrace Allotment decision back to Watford BC’s ruling cabinet was voted down by Liberal Democrat councillors at a meeting in late December.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill  uses the timeless rhetoric of ‘low-cost housing’ and the ‘creation of jobs’.

 

The EIA (Equality Impact Analysis) produced by her colleagues clearly states ‘high quality homes’.

It condescendingly suggests that total closure of the site would be to the benefit of plotholders by avoiding ‘significant disruption and the impact of pollution that they will otherwise be subject to over the duration of the Campus development’

 

‘A bad tempered and petulant Mayor Dorothy Thornhill pushed through her recommendation to hand the 100 year old West Watford Farm Terrace allotments … ‘ more

This might possibly go to the Secretary of State, our voices must be heard – Save Farm Terrace!

 

Save Farm Terrace

 

Watford already has enough concrete and housing and we as taxpayers, are being held to ransom by more and more of these private finance initiatives within the NHS.

These historic allotments belong to the people of West Watford, not the Borough Council. Their ‘master plan’ is no more than Corporate theft and must be stopped.

Just 2 minutes of your time is all that it takes to make your voice heard HERE or leave a comment on this page

 

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