Road rage at plan to use allotment as right-of-way

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ANGRY allotment-holders have poured scorn on town leaders who have decided to let delivery men drive through their site.

Berkhamsted Town Council already allows householders who live on roads adjacent to Sunnyside Allotments to access their homes by walking through the land.

It claims this does not amount to a prescriptive right of way.

But at a meeting of its finance and policy committee, councillors said they may grant permission for vehicles to drive across the land while making deliveries to neighbouring homes.

Plot-holders are in uproar about the proposal, which they say would benefit householders in private homes at the expense of allotment tenants.

They are also concerned that there will be no way of telling who has the council’s permission to drive through the allotments and who does not.

They say too many vehicles could destroy the site’s tranquillity.

Allotment-holder Lewis Eckett said: “I don’t understand why an offer is being recommended that only benefits private residents to the detriment of council allotment tenants.

“It seems to me that this recommendation is ill-thought-out and impractical.

“There is no facility for the council to police whether permission has been granted, rendering the whole exercise pointless.

“It is clear that creating this situation will only lead to greater chaos and confrontation.

“Tenants will have to deal with unknown vehicles driving around the allotments and determining whether permission has been granted or not.”

Sunnyside Allotments chairman Freda Earl said proposals were not “sensible or rational” and could put small children who use the allotments at risk.

She said: “How is it going to be policed? Who is going to know who is allowed on the allotments and who is not?

“Will it be just at specific times and how big will the vehicles be?

“We just think that this is not workable and do not really see why the council is doing it.”

Sunnyside Allotments committee member Angela Wheeldon said she did not see why new rules were necessary when all of the householders have front entrances for deliveries.

The new rules would apply to houses in roads such as Ivy House Lane, Meadway and Millfield.

Allotment-holder Ted Dyer said access to the site had been refused to private householders in the past, setting a precedent to refuse it again.