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August 28, 2013

Gardeners face eviction

For over twenty years a former factory site in Dundee has lain derelict. Two years ago a group of friends started to clear the rubble and convert the ground into a community garden. They set about growing vegetables, flowers and fruit.  Dundee City Council finally woke up to what was happening and ordered them to leave.  Not because it has an alternative plan for the site – in fact no reason for their eviction has been given. ‘Twas ever thus.


Dundee Evening Telegraph

Gardeners are in a stand-off with the council as they face eviction from a Dundee plot.

The group have barricaded themselves inside their Charleston community garden to prevent the local authority from bulldozing the land.

They have spent nearly two years painstakingly creating a garden and roundhouse on the disused council-owned land behind the Whip Inn on Liff Road.

But last week they received a letter warning that council workers would be called in to clear the site.

Lewis Brady, who is behind the project, said that the group want to expand the garden so that more of the community can get involved.

He said: “It was about the start of last year that me and a couple of friends came down to start this, on a big patch of concrete and five feet of rubble. We cleared it all up and recycled the rubble into planters and a clay roundhouse.

“The field has been derelict for as long as anyone can remember, but now the council is saying they want us to get off the land.

“Our plan is to not let them on to the land until we can get some legal support and hold them off. This has been a big project for everyone and it could be really nice. We want to do something good for the community.”

The land has planters being used for organic vegetables, as well as a small building made mainly using mud and clay.

The group have set up a petition that has gathered more than 300 signatures protesting against the council taking the site. They have also barricaded gates and fencing to prevent access and staged a sit-in.

Photographer Chris Scott, 43, said: “We want to stop this by peaceful measures. The council wants to come in and destroy it for no reason — they aren’t coming in to destroy it for housing or anything like that.

A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “Officers have visited the site on a number of occasions and the council is in the process of taking the appropriate steps.”