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Pensioner turfed off plot over weeds row

Malcolm Chapman has had his tenancy terminated at Larkholme Avenue allotments by Fleetwood Town Council
Malcolm Chapman has had his tenancy terminated at Larkholme Avenue allotments by Fleetwood Town Council

An allotment holder who has been tending his plot for 18 years has hit out at Fleetwood Town Council after he was told to quit the site.

Malcolm Chapman, 78, was sent a letter by the council telling him he had breached policy on the plot’s upkeep at the town’s Larkholme Avenue allotments and his tenancy was terminated.

Port Person feature on Fleetwood Town Councillor Terry Rogers.'Terry in the town's Memorial Park.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-3-2015

Port Person feature on Fleetwood Town Councillor Terry Rogers.'Terry in the town's Memorial Park. PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-3-2015

The pensioner has vowed to challenge the decision, despite there being no right to appeal.

Mr Chapman admits he has not been as vigilant with his gardening since his wife began suffering ill health, but he insists he has made efforts to tackle weeds.

But the Fleetwood council, which oversees the 26 allotments and owns the land, says Mr Chapman has been given every opportunity and assistance to bring his plot up to the standard required but did not take any action.

Grandfather Mr Chapman, of Abercrombie Road, Fleetwood, said: “I have kept up my plot very well for years, I have grown everything from strawberries to tomatoes to rhubarb and kept on top of the weeds

“Earlier this year my wife suffered a haematoma on her leg, which requires a lot of care, and my main concern was to look after her.

“I wasn’t able to keep on top of the allotment like I usually do, but I didn’t just leave it - my wife even helped. I have been given no chance.”

But Coun Terry Rogers (inset), town council chairman, said: “Although I have empathy with Mr Chapman’s situation, the decision was made unanimously by full council and is irreversible.

“Fleetwood residents contribute towards allotment upkeep through their council tax and we have a responsibility to manage the site fairly and give everyone in Fleetwood the chance to become a plotholder.

“We have a waiting list of 70 and if one allotment isn’t maintained, it causes problems.”