Residents' anger as more gardens go up for auction in Bowers Gifford

First published in Local News

MORE neighbours are getting grouchy about their gardens after they too learned theirs were being auctioned off by Essex County Council.

Residents living off Elm Road, Arcadia Road, and Upper Avenue, Bowers Gifford, were shocked after finding their front gardens will be going under the hammer at a London auction next week.

Despite having tended the land for almost 50 years, the families face having to pay a minimum of £4,000 for the three plots, after the authority decided to put the land up for the highest bidder.

To make matters worse, the plots are “landlocked” – meaning buyers will have to trespass on the neighbours’ properties in order to gain access to the site.

Geraldine Davies, of Upper Avenue, Bowers Gifford, said: “We’ve looked after this land for all these years, kept it from getting overgrown and the council always knew we were using it. We have lots of proof on our part of the work we’ve done there.

“Now, to put it up for sale without even having the courtesy to let us know someone else could own the land on our doorstep, or to offer to let us buy it first, is ridiculous."

A county council spokesman said: "While we appreciate the residents' situation, the land concerned is Essex County Council land, and this would have been made clear when the houses were bought."

Last week the Echo reported how four families in Marine Parade, Zider Pass and Beck Road, Canvey, learnt their gardens could be going after they had a glossy brochure dropped through their door advertising the land for sale.

Comments (13)

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1:08pm Wed 20 Feb 13

foxy108 says...

This is all a bit peculiar to say the least
This is all a bit peculiar to say the least foxy108
  • Score: 1

1:30pm Wed 20 Feb 13

foxy108 says...

This is all a bit peculiar to say the least.. is it really their 'front gardens'?
This is all a bit peculiar to say the least.. is it really their 'front gardens'? foxy108
  • Score: 1

1:37pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Nebs says...

If it is their front gardens, how can it be landlocked?
If it is their front gardens, how can it be landlocked? Nebs
  • Score: 1

1:53pm Wed 20 Feb 13

foxy108 says...

Which is why I'm asking... I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it is rather odd that they are selling off peoples front gardens; I understand they may not own the land they call their front gardens, but surely it's common courtesy to give them first refusal. it's really quite baffling or I'm probably not grasping the true Echo meaning of the phrase 'front garden' which is quite possible.
Which is why I'm asking... I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it is rather odd that they are selling off peoples front gardens; I understand they may not own the land they call their front gardens, but surely it's common courtesy to give them first refusal. it's really quite baffling or I'm probably not grasping the true Echo meaning of the phrase 'front garden' which is quite possible. foxy108
  • Score: 1

2:24pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Nebs says...

foxy108 wrote:
Which is why I'm asking... I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it is rather odd that they are selling off peoples front gardens; I understand they may not own the land they call their front gardens, but surely it's common courtesy to give them first refusal. it's really quite baffling or I'm probably not grasping the true Echo meaning of the phrase 'front garden' which is quite possible.
When the council own something they have to be seen to be getting the best deal. So putting the land in an auction means nobody can complain that they could have sold it for more.
[quote][p][bold]foxy108[/bold] wrote: Which is why I'm asking... I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it is rather odd that they are selling off peoples front gardens; I understand they may not own the land they call their front gardens, but surely it's common courtesy to give them first refusal. it's really quite baffling or I'm probably not grasping the true Echo meaning of the phrase 'front garden' which is quite possible.[/p][/quote]When the council own something they have to be seen to be getting the best deal. So putting the land in an auction means nobody can complain that they could have sold it for more. Nebs
  • Score: 2

3:04pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Carnabackable says...

Tenants rent the property, owners sell the gardens, that's life....
Tenants rent the property, owners sell the gardens, that's life.... Carnabackable
  • Score: 1

3:22pm Wed 20 Feb 13

mikepaterson says...

Whilst some of the land is landlocked, some of it is not.

The land off Carlton Road is inaccessible.

One plot in Acacia (not Arcadia) is roadside, as is one plot at least in Elm Road.
Whilst some of the land is landlocked, some of it is not. The land off Carlton Road is inaccessible. One plot in Acacia (not Arcadia) is roadside, as is one plot at least in Elm Road. mikepaterson
  • Score: 1

3:46pm Wed 20 Feb 13

iknowbetter says...

The question is can more houses or flats be built on this land? if not then I struggle to see who might want to buy it except those living in the council houses, or possibly home owners living in the area wanting additional parking spaces. (I can see trouble brewing, if this happens), I understand ECC wanting to raise cash but this is ridiculous if it cannot be used for anything. Strange very strange.
The question is can more houses or flats be built on this land? if not then I struggle to see who might want to buy it except those living in the council houses, or possibly home owners living in the area wanting additional parking spaces. (I can see trouble brewing, if this happens), I understand ECC wanting to raise cash but this is ridiculous if it cannot be used for anything. Strange very strange. iknowbetter
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Wed 20 Feb 13

ChampKind says...

I've been led to believe that many of these homes are owned by 'travellers', therefore, my sympathy is minimal.
I've been led to believe that many of these homes are owned by 'travellers', therefore, my sympathy is minimal. ChampKind
  • Score: -1

4:58pm Wed 20 Feb 13

2shedsjackson says...

Rightly Councils have been pressed by HMG to sell off any assets that can reduce the tax burden.
Rightly Councils have been pressed by HMG to sell off any assets that can reduce the tax burden. 2shedsjackson
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Wed 20 Feb 13

MrBowsmith says...

If some residents have had the use of this land for more than six years, and Essex CC have not challenged this use, is there not a case for challenging the council?
As for the "landlocked" parcels, should a sale reach completion, the new purchaser, quite simply will not have any legal access across land owned by others.
If some residents have had the use of this land for more than six years, and Essex CC have not challenged this use, is there not a case for challenging the council? As for the "landlocked" parcels, should a sale reach completion, the new purchaser, quite simply will not have any legal access across land owned by others. MrBowsmith
  • Score: 1

9:03pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Altravista says...

Could this have anything to do with the sale of the land at Little Chalvedon Hall to Nottinghamshire County Council for housing?
Could this have anything to do with the sale of the land at Little Chalvedon Hall to Nottinghamshire County Council for housing? Altravista
  • Score: 0

12:32am Thu 21 Feb 13

Devils Advocate says...

My wife's aunt had a house on the Sea front at Canvey. The land from the sea wall to halfway down her front garden belonged to ECC, but she paid a "peppercorn rent," which meant she could use it as a garden, but had to take care of it and, because of the rent, could never claim the ownership of it, as could and did happen with many farmers who tended land during the war. But of course, things are going back to the days of serfdom. many obscure laws will be used against ordinary people now.
My wife's aunt had a house on the Sea front at Canvey. The land from the sea wall to halfway down her front garden belonged to ECC, but she paid a "peppercorn rent," which meant she could use it as a garden, but had to take care of it and, because of the rent, could never claim the ownership of it, as could and did happen with many farmers who tended land during the war. But of course, things are going back to the days of serfdom. many obscure laws will be used against ordinary people now. Devils Advocate
  • Score: 1

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