David McCormick, 69, has kept the council-owned allotment for eight years and said looking after it is often the highlight of his day. However, during the winter, it became more difficult for him to get to the allotment because of the weather, self-isolation and access issues which make it a long walk to get to there.
And now, as Bedfordshire Live says, the father has received an email with pictures from January and February issuing an unnegotiable notice to quit as it was “in a state of significant disrepair”.
It’s disheartned David, who is disabled with a hip problem.
“I wonder how anyone’s priority with this pandemic is to complain about an allotment being slightly untidy,” the gardener said today.
“I had a great year down there last year, and there’s a great little community. If you’ve got too many cabbage plants or potatoes you swap with someone else – I love it.”
He added: “I love it down there. It’s perfect for me. On a day like today (March 9) I should be going down there and enjoying it, getting some fresh air. Instead I’m worrying because they’ve told me I need to be gone from the allotment by March 25.
“The allotment is a work in progress, as I explained to them [the council], but they’re not interested. It’s upsetting to have this taken away from me really.”
“I’m disabled in that I’ve had hip operations and also had meningitis when I was in the hospital, so I was a bit worried about getting down there at all, but I did manage to get down there and did my best to keep it tidy.”
Biggleswade Town Council told David there is no possibility of appeal and he now must serve his one-month notice period.
Peter Tarrant, town clerk and chief executive of the council, said: “Following recent inspections of Mr McCormick’s allotment plot on 13 January and 11 February 2021 his plot was found to be in a state of significant disrepair. Other historical inspections indicated the same level of significant disrepair.
“The state of his allotment plot was in direct contravention of the tenancy agreement. The council then served one months’ non-negotiable notice for him to quit.
“Whilst the current allotment rules and regulations do not allow for appeal the council has since carefully considered the contents of additional correspondence received from Mr McCormick and decided to uphold the notice to quit.
“It is unfortunate that it was necessary to serve the notice however the council does have a responsibility to other allotment holders and the broader environment. Elected members of the council have also been made aware of the circumstances of the case.”