Self-confessed 'Del Boy' claims he was turfed off his posh allotment after he installed a BBQ

·4-min read

A self-confessed 'Del Boy' claims he was turfed off his posh allotment and told to use a council site - after he installed a BBQ and veranda.

Tim Burnham, 72, says his style of gardening was deemed "not in keeping" with the '''snobby'' private facility.

Fuming Tim says his plot was deemed 'not posh enough'' and told he was "more suited to a council-run allotment site''.

He says the rest of the allotment plots ''looked like something out of the Chelsea Flower Show" - and they took against his.

Former hotelier Tim is now considering legal action after accusing those behind his eviction of "snobbishness".

He believes they didn't want 'working class cockneys' there.

Tim was initially given the plot when he moved into the upmarket Kingston Farm housing development in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.

He was later ordered to remove a bbq, parts to build a veranda as well as tyres to grow rhubarb, wheelbarrows and other 'unsightly' items.

And he said he lost his rag after receiving an eviction letter with a recommendation his style was "more suited to a council-run allotment site."

He added: "When I moved into my flat on the new Kingston Farm Estate, one of the benefits was the allotments being provided for the benefit of residents.

"It was a real selling point as allotments are like gold dust.

"When I took on the allotment I put three wheelbarrows on the plot in order to make one good one from the parts, a barbecue, some paving stones for a terrace, parts to make a veranda on my small shed (having told the committee what I was doing) and old tyres for rhubarb forcing.

"I then received a letter telling me to remove the items. There was no discussion or polite request. None of these issues were proscribed in the contract I had signed.

"I've now produced a banner to hang on my balcony. It says 'I lost the plot. Can I have my allotment back'. 

''I'm also considering suing them in the small claims court for specific performance of the contract.

Tim, who used to own a hotel, has now launched a one man 'I lost the plot' campaign and is considering court action against the Kingston Farm Allotments Association committee.

He claims officials also suggested a council-run plot would be more suitable for him.

He added: "It's just pure snobbishness. Most of the people here are middle class, while I'm a cockney from London and not afraid to say what I think. 

"Most of the other allotments look like something out of the Chelsea Flower Show.

"I was so cross, especially when the secretary came up to me and suggested moving to a council run plot which would 'be more suitable' for my style of gardening.

"Unfortunately, I lost my temper with him. I did a fair bit of gratuitous swearing. I did apologise, straightaway.

"I was given no right of appeal. They said the issue is dealt with and would not discuss the matter further.

"I have since written and asked politely to put me on the waiting list or inform me if I have a life ban. Their answer is that they informed me the matter is closed."

Tim said he was only given one month's notice to quit his 15ft by 30ft site that he had worked on since July 2019.

He added: "I was accused of abandoning my allotment, which was untrue. I was harvesting vegetables until the day I left, not replacing the old shed in time or restoring it and given one month's notice to quit which I have now done.

"Their rules specifically state that they would talk to anyone and try to resolve any issues before taking further action. They failed to do this and simply ordered me to leave which I duly did.

"I was also told that I had to tidy the allotment and clear it, even though it was covered in weeds when I took over. 

"I had to uproot stuff that was still growing, such as artichokes, cavallo Nero, wallflowers, herbs and rhubarb."

Tim said there are now several spare plots with some others, who are friends of the committee, now being offered spare plots.

He added: "You couldn't make it up.

"Another lady who is leaving was told to completely dig her plot over before leaving after planting it for the season or she wouldn't get her deposit back.

"All that work and money wasted. I offered to take over that plot as it stands. You can guess their response."

A Kingston Farm Allotments committee spokesman said: "We were disappointed when we had to request Tim to relinquish his allotment after rules were ignored and other issues arose. KFAA do not feel that it is appropriate to comment about the issue."

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