Bid to save community garden fails
A CAMPAIGN to save a community garden may have been dealt a fatal blow after a bid to have the space designated as a town green was rejected by an independent inspector.
Easter Garden, nestled between Wesley Place and High Street, just off Blackboy Hill in Clifton, is a community space tended by the Friends of Easter Garden since 1997.
Since then they have fiercely protected it against development – most recently from the current owner Sarjit Singh who wants to build two townhouses on the site.
But Mr Singh says an independent inspector has made a ruling saying an L-shaped patch of the land cannot be designated a town green and is lawfully owned by him.
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The matter will be finally resolved at a meeting of the council's Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee in April. There councillors will decide whether to accept the findings of the independent report.
However Mr Singh says he feels the report resolves the matter and says he has written through solicitors to Friends of Easter Garden chairman John Delaney asking him to remove all their items from the site.
Mr Singh, 54, from Enfield says he should now be given the opportunity to apply to build on the land.
"We are looking to build on the land but unfortunately people have been trespassing," Mr Singh, who married and lived in Bristol, said.
"I have the official deeds, they can't just ignore that.
"This report is final. I have told them they should not even be on the land because I am the rightful owner but they don't seem to understand the law of this country.
"Public money has been wasted unnecessarily in this mater as far as I am concerned.
"If I thought I could sit down and chat with them about what they want over a cup of tea I would but they don't want to know.
"They should just leave me alone and let me get on with my life. I paid for the land – I have not stolen it.
"I am the legal owner. I want to respect my neighbours but I feel like I have been persecuted."
Mr Delaney said he considered it inappropriate to comment before the report was officially in the public domain.