Land News

Allotment Owner's Windfall

Lawson Fairbank 11th July, 2005

Allotment owners in Nottingham have been offered £28,000 per plot by a property developer.

The offer has divided the city gardeners with some wanting to take the money and others not able to put a price on one of life's enjoyments.

A developer has offered £7 million for a 25-acre site containing 245 allotments in Aspley, Nottingham, but 25 plot owners refuse to sell up.

Some hope for an increased offer, but others will not sell for any price.

Mr Brown, who bought his plot 45 years ago for £100, said he wasn't keen to sell as it backed on to his garden, but said he would not stand in the way if everyone else wanted to cash in.

Geoff Avery, 58, said: "I bought my plot 30 years ago and wouldn't want to sell. If I was a betting man I'd say there was going to be trouble over this, there's already recrimination.

"I think a lot are holding out for a better price. Let's face it, £7 million for 25 acres of prime inner-city building land on the ring road is hardly a good offer. People were expecting an offer of the going rate of £1 million per acre, which would have netted each allotment £125,000. That's the sort of figure people were talking about at the beginning. That would be enough for me to change my mind, and I suspect I wouldn't be alone."

The New Aspley Garden Holders' Association bought the land for £10,100 from Nottingham city council in 1952. The council still holds a covenant barring development on it, although Matt Gregory, of its policy team, said covenants on land became more susceptible to legal challenge the older they got.

Some of the plot owners hold their own deeds, while the association holds the rest. Mr Avery added: "I'm sure the council would give up the covenant if the money was right. After all, you've got John Prescott demanding more houses be built on brownfield sites.

About 80 per cent of the plots are untended and overgrown, with owners seeing the offer as a way to cash in an unused asset.

John Callaghan, who lives in sheltered accommodation nearby but still spends much time on his allotment, said: "I want to sell. I'm old and I won't be here for ever."

More news >

RSS Feed - Really Simple Syndication
What is RSS?

Sponsored Links