Allotment holders were presented with details of the planned investment to allotments across the town at a meeting last night.
In previous meetings, allotment holders had told the council what improvements they would like to see to allotments in Watford. Last night, the council presented more detail about how to make those improvements – things like new toilets, fencing, compost bins and water supply. The allotment holders and council will now work together to decide what work is taken forward in the New Year.
Also at the meeting, Kier Property presented three options for the Health Campus scheme. Two included using some or all of Farm Terrace allotment land. Kier explained the additional land would provide flexibility for new hospital buildings and family homes and improve the financial viability of the scheme.
Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: ‘Our hospital partners have now been absolutely clear about their need for additional land and this cannot be ignored if we want to see a 21st century hospital in Watford. And we have always said the scheme has to stack up financially in what are very uncertain times. Given this, all options need to be on the table. We will continue to be up front with Farm Terrace allotment holders. No decision has been made and won’t be until Cabinet has all the information in front of them in December.”
If a decision is taken to use the Farm Terrace allotment land then allotment holders will be offered new plots elsewhere; possibly to Paddock Road, less than two miles away. The overall land provided for allotments in the town would remain the same.
The Chairman of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust wrote to the council recently to say: “…it will be imperative that the option of additional land is available to provide for the facilities required by our patients…”
As well as new hospital facilities, the plans for the Health Campus will turn some of what is currently old, contaminated industrial land and a flood plain into very attractive open, green spaces that will be of real benefit to local people and an asset to the area. New jobs, affordable housing and transport improvements will also be key benefits delivered by the scheme.