Department for Communities and Local Government
Ministers have today (18 December 2013) given the go ahead for land to be included in a major regeneration scheme in Watford. The Watford Health Campus will provide new modern hospital facilities, around 700 good quality homes, new green space and around 1,600 jobs.
Watford Borough Council had sought approval for a disposal of the land to be built on under the Allotments Act 1925 which requires ministerial approval for any change of use of council allotments. Strict government rules also regulate the disposal of allotments, and in particular a requirement that any allotment land lost must be matched by the creation of like-for-like new allotments elsewhere within the area. Ministers approved the inclusion of these allotments into the Health Campus once they were satisfied Watford Borough Council met these rules and will be creating new allotments to replace those lost to enable the building of the new hospital facilities.
New guidance will be published in the New Year clarifying the strict conditions under which councils can dispose of allotments.
Stephen Williams said:
This application, backed by the local council, local MP Richard Harrington and Watfords Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, opens the door for new NHS hospital facilities and regeneration scheme, as well as replacement allotments. Having carefully considered all the issues and representations, ministers have approved the application.