Plot holders are digging in after being offered an alternative to their 99-year-old allotments.
Allotment holders at the Reservoir allotment site, in Wood Lane, Rothwell, were left angered by news that Leeds City Council had failed in a bid to buy the land – before being told they would be evicted on February 2 next year.
Facing a 1,900 person waiting list for plots, residents feared it could take years for alternatives to become available.
But the council has offered the 12 plot holders space on a council-owned allotment site, off Leadwell Lane, in Rothwell, that could be brought back into use by March next year.
Reservoir site representative Walter Hutchinson, who lives next to his allotment, said: “I don’t think anybody up here will take up the offer, they can say what they want but when we went round the site with someone from parks and countryside we couldn’t get on to the plots due to the stinking, terrible state of the road up there.”
The 69-year-old, who has cultivated his plot for 43 years, said that the council looked into opening the site for allotment use around five years ago but it was deemed unsuitable.
Andrew White, a plot holder at the nearby Victoria Road site, said: “We walk to Victoria, it’s the convenience of it, it’s all green living and sustainability but for people having to drive there [Leadwell Lane], with the cost of fuel and getting down there, it’s all a bit self defeating.”
He said that the new site is prone to flooding and that the near two mile walk to the site is too far for older residents.
At a recent meeting between the council’s parks officers and plot holders, it was revealed that a compulsory purchase of the Reservoir site is no longer a possibility.
Coun Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: “A lot of these people overlook the Reservoir plots, they are part of their homes – it’s like having your back garden taken away.”
Coun Mark Dobson, the council’s executive member for the environment, said: “We are determined to find alternative solutions and are currently undertaking a large piece of work to ensure that no dedicated allotment holder of Rothwell will lose out.”