Dozens of allotment holders fight threat of eviction

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) with

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) with committee members and plot holders protesting over being evicted from the land in Mack's Lane. From left, Vic Birtles, Sheila Shambrook, and Mark Broadhead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A group of allotment owners who have been given notice to leave their site by the end of the year, have said the loss of the plots will be detrimental to the community.

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gar

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) and plot holders are protesting over being evicted. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association, (TALGA) based at Place Farm, has been told by Taverham Parish Council it must vacate and clear the allotments by December 31.

The eviction notice has come about because the lease of the farmland where the allotments are based is coming to an end, and the land is being sold.

But the 80-strong group, which was established in 2007, is fighting the eviction, saying it warned the parish council in 2019 that it needed to act to secure the lease.

It has also said it believes allotments are statutory allotments, and cannot be disposed of without the permission of the secretary of state.

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) on h

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) on his allotment in Mack's Lane. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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Michael Raw, co-chair of TALGA, said the allotments were a crucial part of the community.

He said: “The parish council should be working for the wellbeing of the community and these allotments are very much part of [that].

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“Not only is it a crucial part of people’s wellbeing, it’s food production with no food miles.

“TALGA is probably one of the best allotment sites in England, a lot of allotment sites are chaotic but this is an absolutely first class site and there are people with excellent skills in the growing and production of food.

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gar

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) and plot holders are protesting over being evicted. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“At the moment there are 80 allotments but it’s 80 allotment holders and their families and their neighbours because when you have an allotment, you inevitably produce a surplus,” he said.

He said the allotments not only produced food but were crucial to people’s wellbeing and mental health.

Taverham Parish Council clerk Samantha Salmons said the council was unable to provide a statement at the current time.

She said the situation regarding the end of the lease of the land and any further action would be discussed in a future full council meeting, which TALGA would be informed of and invited to attend.

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) with

Mike Raw, left, joint chairman of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) with committee members and plot holders protesting over being evicted from the land in Mack's Lane. From left, Vic Birtles, Sheila Shambrook, and Mark Broadhead. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gar

The allotments in Mack's Lane, Taverham, where members of TALGA (Taverham Allotments and Leisure Gardening Association) and plot holders are protesting over being evicted. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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