Farm Terrace Allotment Fighting Fund

Raised: £10,970.00
Goal: £30,000.00

Created by

Sara Jane Trebar

406 Friends

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Farm Terrace Allotment site Watford has existed since 1896. It stands in the centre of the hugely urbanized town of Watford. An oasis in an Urban Jungle. However we are in the middle of... more


Updated posted by Sara Jane Trebar 1 day ago

High Court gives Farm Terrace Allotment Challenge the go-ahead
The High Court has given the Farm Terrace allotment-holders permission to proceed with a challenge to Eric Pickles’s decision to allow Watford Council to build on their allotment site. There will now be a full hearing of the case later this year.
The claim has been brought by 3 plot-holders who face eviction to make way for housing. The site cannot be built on without the Secretary of State’s consent, and there are strict criteria that have to be met before Council’s are given the all clear. In this case consent was granted even though the criteria were not met, because everyone agrees that the site is not ‘surplus to requirements’. Consent was nonetheless granted because, in the Secretary of State’s opinion, building on the allotments is in the public interest. The campaigners and many allotment holders and gardeners around the country disagree, arguing that the development could go ahead without building on the allotments, and that retaining allotments is also in the public interest.
On 14 April 2014 a High Court judge looked at the case carefully and, after considering the Secretary of State’s and the Council’s calls for the claim to be refused permission, has disagreed and has decided that the grounds of challenge are arguable. The Order can be accessed here. There will now be a full hearing of the judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice in London later this year.
Andrew Moore, one of the Claimants, said today:

“It is a shame that we have had to take the case this far. It’s not too late for the Council and the Secretary of State to change their minds and accommodate the allotments within the development, as the developers have acknowledged they could.
I am glad that the judge has recognised that this case raises serious issues that merit a full hearing. This case is not only important to me and the other Farm Terrace Allotment holders. It will affect many other sites across the country that are also under threat from development, and we hope to set a precedent that will help to protect allotments for future generations as well as our own. I firmly believe that our children will thank us for standing up to the authorities.“
Adam Hundt, of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors, who represent the Claimants, said:

“The Secretary of State has criteria by which applications for consent to build on allotments are assessed, but he has effectively decided that those criteria can be ignored if profit margins are said to be at risk. One has to question what the point of having criteria that are designed to protect allotments from development is, if they can be ignored with so little justification. As a keen allotment gardener myself, I am hopeful that the Court will ensure that allotment holders can, in reality, rely on the protection from developers that the Secretary of State’s criteria are said to give their sites.”
Further details can be accessed here on the campaigners’ website and on twitter @SaveFarmTerrace.
The allotment holders are represented by Adam Hundt of Deighton Pierce Glynn and Jason Coppel QC and Hannah Slarks, both of 11 King’s Bench Walk.


Updated posted by Sara Jane Trebar 5 days ago

News Update – 18 April 2014

Although our court action is progressing with a proposed hearing date in the summer, Watford Council has pressed ahead with a planning application to build on Farm Terrace allotments.

If you would like to make any comments on the Council’s application please click the link below that takes you to the specific planning page.

What is slightly unusual about this application, is that the Council is both judge and jury as it is the joint developer and land owner!


Updated posted by Sara Jane Trebar 27 days ago

Here you go!!Forward to 01:47:32 to hear my debate against Mayor Dorothy! and please if you empathise with us and you haven't done so already please donate!!

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Created by Sara Jane Trebar on July 7, 2013

Farm Terrace Allotment site Watford has existed since 1896. It stands in the centre of the hugely urbanized town of Watford. An oasis in an Urban Jungle. However we are in the middle of a bitter war with our council and central government who want to build housing on our site. This is becoming an epidemic, as more and more councils see selling off precious allotment sites as a way of generating cash. Since 2007 there have been 132 separate applications to close down allotments under section 8 of the 1925 Allotments Act. Out of these 132 applications 97% were approved (128 cases) and only 4 cases refused. Plot holders feel powerless to protest about these closures because the government have such power – until now.

Our case showed that the Secretary of State had not applied his policy lawfully and in the face of legal action the Secretary of State backed down! However our Lib Dem council is not backing down and plans to put in another submission to develop on the allotments as the original case now has to be revisited. We in defence will be putting in our own submission with new data and facts. The Secretary of State will then make a new decision again in the Autumn. If we win, not only will we save Farm Terrace but we also will strike a blow for the protection of allotments all over the UK as it will make it much harder for them to be developed on!

Although we successfully challenged the first decision we may have to continue our fight in court dependant on what the decision is in the Autumn.

So far, we have received support from individuals, allotment holders, allotment associations nationwide as well as members of our local community.

Please donate as much as you can, we believe that if all our allotments are still needed now, more than ever. If all allotment holders keep quiet and do not stand up and be counted alongside us it is our very real fear that allotments will, in the very near future, be assigned to the history books.

Please help Save Farm Terrace. Please help save ALL allotments.

Have Questions? Contact the organizer of this campaign now:


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Keep Fighting, I met with Dorothy to push for self management in 2010 at Callowlands when she assured me that they did not need any allotment land to develop the Hospital site and Farm Terrace was safe from any development! And so was the land at Callowlands.

posted by Robert Nicols 8 months ago

Yes, WBC is after the allotments,with no sense of ethics, and respect of the laws, no understanding of what it means to preserve natural resources, how many times we heard us being called the fenced allotments, but WBC can walk in any time, without weighting their decision, and our own stand. How far do we have to go to be heard? Is this a democracy?

posted by Virginie Jones 8 months ago

Just found the sudden reversal of Eric Pickles. I just can't believe we are able to keep Farm Terrace Allotments, but this is true, it's happening! Although Mayor Dorothy thinks it's a simple point of law to elude.

posted by Virginie Jones 8 months ago

Can I suggest that you reach out to the media / local newspapers, I.e. if you can get someone like Monty Don to even mention this case on his show I am sure there would be a lot more support and maybe he might be generous enough to donate something as well!! :)

posted by Jaimin Parmar 8 months ago

Manor Garden Allotments: their destruction for the Olympics was an unnecessary tragedy. I hope you will be more successful.

posted by Susanna Clymo 8 months ago

I'm so delighted we have exceeded 2000 that I am going to celebrate with a glass of pink plonk.

posted by Martina Moore 9 months ago

No land open to the community, and that's statutory, should be played with, and used for completing a public- private deal-.That's not what Farm Terrace is for, and we can't just go ignorant of what's happening all over England, or nearby. Farm Terrace has been a haven for me, since i stepped in England.

posted by Virginie Jones 9 months ago

1 - 7 of 7 Comments

Recent Donations (545)

£10,970 raised by 545 people in 9 months.


Dolores Moore

4 hours ago


Excellent work Sara. You must have put your life on hold during this self-less campaign. Thank you for everything you have so tirelessly and fearlessly done for the people of Watford. It must be intimidating to be a tiddler up against the might of Mayor Thornhill, Watford Council, Kier PLC and NHS Trust. A David and Goliath scenario. Watch out every little piece of public land in the country sending £+ signs to developers. For St George and England on this St George's Day!!!!!!! Thank you for all you do.



liza mccarron

5 hours ago



Peta Bean

18 hours ago



Geoff Young

18 hours ago


Whilst visiting my old plot (97) at Farm Terrace the other day heard & saw the Whitethroat that turns up there every year on migration from Africa. At one with nature !



Jane Detnon

22 hours ago



Steve Poole

22 hours ago


Best of luck to you - this is so important for all of us who care about these things. Eric Pickles should get an allotment - he would benefit from the exercise!



Susan Burke

23 hours ago


Well done!



Joanne Mudhar

4 days ago


Good luck. This is important. If I hadn't had the training ground of my allotments I'd never have set up The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm in Ipswich



Finn Jackson

4 days ago


Good luck!!! :o)



martin copeland

5 days ago


Don't believe the hype


1-10 of 545 donations


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