Shock as allotment holders told they must move

ALLOTMENTS which have been cultivated for more than a century are to be axed.

Users of Langcliffe allotments have been given their marching orders by Langcliffe Estate owner Robert Bell.

He has given the eight licence holders - they are not tenants but each has an annual licence - until December 31 this year to quit the site close to the village centre.

And they have been left in the dark over why he wants them out.

The closure is to take effect despite appeals for a change of heart from the allotment holders and Langcliffe Parish Council.

David Croll, who has been cultivating his site for seven years, said: "Initially the agent spoke about relocation, but it was never identified. It eventually became eviction, not relocation.

"It was all made more difficult because we wanted to know why we were being evicted, but we were never told why.

"Later the estate did respond. They said 'it was not incumbent on them to spell out the reason nor were they required to reveal the long-term plans. They found the questioning intrusive and upsetting'."

"If we were tenants of a private allotment we would have very few rights – as licence holders we have no rights whatsoever."

Alan Smelt, who has had an allotment 30 years, said they were devastated by the proposed closure.

"Since retiring, I have spent a lot of time up there. As well as a place to grow fruit and vegetables, it's a wildlife haven with squirrels and pheasants and birds which I feed. My wife and I will miss it greatly.

"The whole village is upset about it. We have received a lot of sympathy."

A parish council spokeswoman said the council had written a letter saying it was disappointed with the decision and asking if Mr Bell would change his mind.

"We got a nice letter back but declining and giving no explanation. We are to write again to ask where the alternative land was."

A spokesman for the estate's agents, P Wilson and Co, also declined to comment when contacted by the Craven Herald.

Comments (1)

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1:44pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Soo Feather says...

This is becoming more common and most areas are seeing the demise of many allotments/pens to make way for new developments ( not suggesting this is the case here) ... We at Skipton Middle town Pens/ Allotments are facing similar fears as constant hassle from the council have made some tenants leases untenable, making us feel we are no longer welcome there and on several occasions when asked why the hassle is being given, after many decades of things running very well with good management of the hard working reps on the site, no answer is being given. Many of us are feeling victimised and the reps are being treat very unfairly after giving their free time and experience, some for decades, to the running of the pens/allotments..... some people do not realise that these places are peoples lives, given lots of care, time and expense to their plots, and also some of them rely on the produce grown as they can not afford o buy fresh veg and fruits etc ....
This is becoming more common and most areas are seeing the demise of many allotments/pens to make way for new developments ( not suggesting this is the case here) ... We at Skipton Middle town Pens/ Allotments are facing similar fears as constant hassle from the council have made some tenants leases untenable, making us feel we are no longer welcome there and on several occasions when asked why the hassle is being given, after many decades of things running very well with good management of the hard working reps on the site, no answer is being given. Many of us are feeling victimised and the reps are being treat very unfairly after giving their free time and experience, some for decades, to the running of the pens/allotments..... some people do not realise that these places are peoples lives, given lots of care, time and expense to their plots, and also some of them rely on the produce grown as they can not afford o buy fresh veg and fruits etc .... Soo Feather
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