Battle lines are being drawn in St. Werburgh’s between green-fingered local residents and sharp-suited corporate vultures over a blatant INNER CITY LAND GRAB following the announcement that the Lynmouth Road allotments will come onto the open market next month.
The one-acre parcel of land, with a guide price of £20,000, is being AUCTIONED OFF on 25th September by Clifton-based estate agent HOLLIS MORGAN. Its brochure notes that “there may be some long term development potential”, and suggests the possibility of vacant possession – which would only happen with the eviction of allotment holders. To rub salt into the wound, Hollis Morgan made the announcement just after National Allotments Week!
The Lynmouth Road site had been owned by training provider SCOUT ENTERPRISES (which readers with long memories may recall was heavily involved in compulsory workfare schemes, from Project Work through to Work Programme) before it went tits-up late last year.
Since then the ‘independent assurance, tax and advisory firm’ GRANT THORNTON has been in charge, and now its crack team of ‘recovery and reorganisation’ specialists – Richard Hicken, Nigel Morrison and Lynn Taylor – is ready to ASSET-STRIP THE ARSE OFF THE ALLOTMENTS.
Of course, this being Ashley ward, they face stern resistance from BS2’s mighty Green Party councillor duo SIR AUGUSTUS ‘THE DORK KNIGHT’ HOYTY-TOYTY and his sidekick ROB ‘BOY WONDER’ TELFORD. By “stern resistance” we do of course mean firm promises to “ensure it is referred to the relevant planning committee”, the possibility of a petition, and the submission of “strong objections” – TAKE THAT, THE MAN!
Meanwhile, the legal side of the St. Werburgh’s land grab is being handled by none other than VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS, the current home to baldy-headed former Bristol City Council lawyer-in-chief STEPHEN ‘MAHNA MAHNA’ MCNAMARA, and – as we may have mentioned before – best known for representing Catholic private school St. Benedict’s during a paedo priest scandal.
Whilst it isn’t known if McNamara is directly involved in this deal, he has certainly in the past been connected to what you might politely describe as ‘odd’ green-spaces-to-developers deals. One notable one also involved GEORGE FERGUSON before he
bought won the Mayoralty and appointed the never-knowingly-overinformed Sir Hoyty-Toyty to become his ever-loyal Minister of Blue Peter Appeal Milk Bottle Top Collections.
So the Lynmouth Road allotment holders might be wise not to put too much faith in the likes of Hoyty-Toyty to draw a particularly deep line in the sand over their green space.
Why would you refer a land sale to a “relevant planning committee”? They have no jurisdiction over land sales.
According to Elisabeth Winkler in the comments thread in response to my question at her realfoodblog at wordpress dot com/2013/08/30/community-buy-out-to-secure-biodynamic-farm/ some people in St Werburgh’s are considering doing a community buy-out for the site, which seems a sensible idea to me.
Knowing St Werburgh’s, I’m sure there are enough Sebastians, Tabithas and Sophies in the area capable of organising and pulling the readies up together.
What is it about those names though, that puts me off … *SIGH* …
And with a guide price of only £20,000, it would make a good gift for a child’s trust found
Harry – are you hinting you don’t like community ownership, or that you don’t think that people around St Werburghs can organise to pull in enough collectively to buy the site?
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