Allotment holders close to a deal over new land

California Gardens allotment holders have been fighting eviction for three years.

California Gardens allotment holders have been fighting eviction for three years.

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ALLOTMENT holders who were threatened with eviction are on the verge of a deal to secure a new home for the next two decades.

The allotment holders at California Gardens, off Maltings Land in Gonerby Hill Foot, had faced being evicted from the land by the landowner, the Lely family, next month

However, at a meeting of South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet on Monday, councillors were presented with a report stating that a deal had been reached for a 21-year lease on the new, smaller plot of land at the Maltings, with a five-year rent free period.

The report said: “The council has been advised verbally that the allotment holders will be accepting this offer and responding accordingly to the landowners’ solicitors.

“In addition, they are forming an Allotment Committee to deal with the negotiations with the landowner.”

Allotment holder Adam Nagy said a deal could be struck before Christmas.

He said: “We are grateful to the Lely family for doing their best to help us.

“Hopefully the war is over now but we still need some help. The new land needs to be prepared and clearing all those tonnes of rubble will be tough for pensioners.

“It would be nice if the council finally step forward to give us a helping hand.”

The council had been asked to consider a compulsory purchase of California Gardens, which it estimated would cost at least £150,000. Council Leader Linda Neal said a successful CPO would mean only people living in Grantham itself could have an allotment on the site.

She said: “If there were a CPO then that would be through the Grantham Special Expenses Area and that would mean people living outside Grantham would not be eligible to go to the site. Peo

ple from the Gonerby ward for instance would not be able to be on that site.”

However, Coun Neal said that if negotiations break down then “we will have to look again at the possibility of a CPO”.

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