CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Community garden club told it has one week left to leave

Deadline looming in Bassett Street row

24 October, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

GARDENERS have been told they have one week left to down their rakes and spades – and move out of a community plot.

Members of the Bassett Street Gardening Club have been battling to save their growing space for months after council officers told them they were being evicted, so the land could be given to a neighbouring block of flats as a private space.

The Town Hall claim the land has always been attached to the flats and the gardening club – which has 80 plots used by a primary school, nursery and neighbours – must vacate the site.

An alternative site in Weedington Road was suggested but the club say the site is not fit for their purposes.

The eviction comes after a Town Hall survey of people living in the block found some would like to access the patch of land. Meetings have failed to result in a compromise.

Gardener John Langan said: “This has been a flawed process from the start. The decision to remove us has been manifestly mismanaged by the council. People are immensely disappointed. They said they were following protocol, and their reasons were dressed up in legal language. They listened to what we had to say but they had already worked out what they were going to tell us.We had to agree as we had no choice.”

Gardeners, who have been using the land for 10 years, say they were told not to speak to the New Journal by council officers during the row, a claim Camden is not commenting on.

Mr Langan added: “They basically wanted to gag us. This leaves us without any garden plots and no one is happy with this decision.”

A Town Hall spokes­man said: “After a productive meeting it was agreed that the club would vacate the garden this month to allow the tenant and residents’ association to take over the management of the plot,” adding: “Camden has offered the gardening club an alternative site which they can choose

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