Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Thursday, 20 January 2011
Land dispute over Cardigan allotments
Plot on allotment at Feidrhenffordd
The allotments have been based at Feidrhenffordd since 1938

A Cardigan land dispute that has lasted 72 years seems set to continue despite an allotment group agreeing to lease the four-acre site.

Ceredigion Council's cabinet has offered to lease land to Feidrhenffordd Allotment Association.

But a town councillor claims it belongs to the people of Cardigan and not to the county council.

Land was initially given to the people of the the town to use as allotments in 1857.

But they were moved to the current Feidrhenffordd site in 1938 when the town's recreation fields were extended.

According to Cllr Melfydd George, a legal blunder took place when this move was in process.

I am amazed that the council has chosen to support vegetable growing ahead of safeguarding jobs
Kevin Davies

He said: "When the deeds were drawn up for the new allotment site it was omitted to make it clear that the gift to the people of Cardigan was transferred with the land."

Four acres of land was set aside "in trust for the people of Cardigan in perpituity" in an Act of Enclosure passed by Parliament in 1857.

Cllr George added: "It is this clause which the inhabitants of Cardigan claim as our legal right to this four acres of land.

"Although I am happy that the allotment association has been offered the lease, I am adamant that the county council does not have the right to do so.

"The land was given to the people of Cardigan not the people of Ceredigion."

Lord Palmerston - Prime Minister in 1857
The Act of Enclosure was passed by Parliament in 1857

The allotment land at Feidrhenffordd has had a turbulent history.

In 1961 the borough council leased part of the land to the Electricity Board and in 1974 Ceredigion District Council sold 500 square yards of allotment space to the then owner of the nearby Rhos Garage.

Although the building of Cardigan's by-pass in the 1980s took away half an acre of allotment space, it was replaced by land on the other side of Feidrhenffordd.

In 1991 a plan to redevelop the allotments for residential use was opposed by locals.

Cllr George said: "Even though the site was shoulder high in weeds and brambles, tractors and ploughs were organised to create a new model allotment site planted with 1,200 cabbage plants."

The current owner of Rhos Garage which adjoins the allotment, Kevin Davies, had asked the county council if he could buy some of the land for customer parking space.

Franchise

He said: "I am disappointed the county council has made this decision because they gave me the impression it wouldn't be decided until next month.

"All I wanted was to buy a quarter of an acre on a piece of land that hasn't seen a carrot grown there for the last 50 years.

"I have already lost one franchise and may now have to lay people off.

"I am amazed that the council has chosen to support vegetable growing ahead of safeguarding jobs."

There has been renewed interest in the allotments during the past 10 years. Although there are currently 15 spare plots, it is used by 10 members of the Feidrhenffordd Allotment Association.

Sarah Wright, the association's secretary, said: "Although I am aware of the dispute about who owns the land I am delighted that the association has been given the opportunity to lease it."

A Ceredigion council spokesman said: "The decision made at Ceredigion County Council's Cabinet was that the Feidrhenffordd Allotment Association be formally offered a lease of land at Feidrhenffordd, Cardigan for the purpose of allotments, subject to terms and conditions to be agreed by the Council's Estates Section."




SEE ALSO
Celebrity chef's allotments plea
25 May 10 |  Wales
Bid to create allotments in town
19 Nov 10 |  Shropshire
About 150 new allotments created
03 Aug 10 |  Gloucestershire


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