The 250,000sq ft factory on the 14 acre site will secure hundreds of Raleigh jobs but three grumpy gardeners are digging in over their demands that they would rather have their existing plots rather than the swanky new ones proposed by Nottingham city council, which plans to spend £1m on relocating the allotments.
The allotment holders would get their top-soil moved, and would benefit from new sheds and even new loos. Most of the allotments holders are satisfied with the move but the Bulwell Three are not and have taken Nottingham city council to court in order to block Raleigh’s move.
Trevor Rose, Ann Speirs and Herbert Hyman have lodged a case in the High Court to reverse the city council’s planning permission, granted in June.
According to the Nottingham Evening Post, the council leader, Graham Chapman, has warned that jobs could be at risk if the gardeners persist: "They should think hard about what they are doing, putting the future of Raleigh in this city at risk. It is putting in jeopardy 500 precious manual jobs."
Raleigh MD Phillip Darnton told the Post he had "grave concern" at the court proceedings, sentiments he shared with bikebiz.co.uk last week.
Darnton was served with court papers two weeks ago. Even if unsuccessful, the case could delay progress on the factory for six precious months.
Ann Speirs, one of the Bulwell Three, told the Nottingham Evening Post, keeping a few allotments in their original location was much more important than keeping a world-renowned bicycle brand in its original home town:
"It has taken years to get our allotments together and it is not that simple to move them to another site — because it will take just as long to get build them up again.
"We are not sure how long it might take to fight for all our hard work, but we will take the matter as far as we can to protect our allotments."
Unfortunately, this looks like being a humus interest story that will run and run. (Humus. Soil. Geddit?)
1st November 2000
22nd January 2001