With the end of a 99-year-old allotment site in sight, plot holders living next to the treasured land are desperate to know what is planned for it.
Around 12 plot holders at the Reservoir site, in Wood Lane, Rothwell, are facing eviction from the land, which many have cultivated for decades, after Leeds City Council failed in a bid to buy it last year.
Residents’ frustration has been added to by the new private landowner’s failure to engage with locals about the future of the land, which will be vacated by February 2.
The landowner, believed to be a Mr Pollard, from Hunslet, has also refused to negotiate with the council, leaving many residents concerned about development on their doorsteps.
Linda Jubb, 61, who lives next to the plot which she has cultivated with husband Stephen for eight years, said: “I am worried because when we come off the land in February what is going to happen?
“With our hedges outside our house, we will actually be looking out our windows and seeing the land going to rack and ruin, which is upsetting.”
She said: “I would like him (the owner) to get in touch and just listen to people. There are 19 houses in this street, so there are 19 families that are going to be wondering what’s going off.”
Plot holder of 43 years, Walter Hutchinson, who also lives facing his allotment, said: “If he (the owner) keeps the hedges all tidy and looks after it we will have no complaints but if Gipsies come in and fly tipping starts happening, that’s what we are concerned about.”
The clear-out of an allotment trading hut on the site is set to take place next month, signalling the start of a move away from it being gardening land.
Coun Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: “There is a lot of speculation at the moment about development, specifically with the search for traveller sites in the city, and residents want to make sure it doesn’t become overgrown scrub land.”
He added that he believes the plot holders should be compensated for losing their plots.
Coun Golton has sent a letter to Mr Pollard and visited the premises that the land is registered to without a response.
The council recently offered the plot holders space on a council-owned allotment site, off Leadwell Lane, in Rothwell.