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Allotment holders evicted for cows.

Allotment holders are furious they are being forced to leave the plots they have tended for decades to make way for grazing cows.

The Freemen of Newcastle, who have grazing rights on the Town Moor, have given seven allotment holders notice to leave their plots at the junction of Grandstand Road and Kenton Road in Gosforth.

The Freemen have told their tenants in a letter they "can readily be accommodated on nearby sites".

But the plot holders argue there are already long waiting lists for these other sites.

Newcastle City Council own the moor but, under the Town Moor Act, the Freemen of Newcastle have the grazing rights and the power to decide how the land is used.

Town moor allotment holders suffered similar disappointment in April 2002 when the Freemen reverted a 100-plot site in Fenham to grazing land.

Vice-chairman of the Newcastle Allotments Working Group and spokesman for the Grandstand Road allotment holders Gordon Chester, 69, of Red House Farm, Gosforth, said last night: "We are angry and annoyed about the eviction notices.

"The land is very small, but it means a lot to the people who have allotments there. Many are retired and it is more than just a pastime ( it is a significant chunk of their lives. They would be losing all that for the sake of one cow."

The seven allotment holders were served eviction notices in August and have until September 2006 to leave their plots.

Freemen of Newcastle spokesman Len Fenwick said last night: "The change is part of a structured environmental programme that is bringing this part of the moor back into public open space."

Newcastle City Council declined to comment.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2005
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