Given the community has been maintaining part of the property for an extended period time, is there any legal merit in challenging Southwark Cathedral's assumed ownership of the land the garden sits on.
Locking the gates seems to be a moved designed to prove ownership of the site.
This is quite extraordinary and totally outrageous.
All the more odd because I know Edith Slee (The Dean's wife) is an avid supporter of all things green in Southwark. She's a keen volunteer at the Tate Garden (run by BOST) and she's also attended meetings with Southwark's Parks Dept regarding the future of green spaces in the borough.
How does she reconcile that interest and involvement with what's happening at All Hallows, I wonder...
The Cathedral has closed All Hallows Garden from Public Use, and will be opened from "Time to Time" ? WHY ?
Is there any reason ? "Because they can - that was there answer.
It is reported
"The Chapter has told the Residents' Campaign Group repeatedly over an extended period of weeks that, on occasions the gates will be locked"
NOT TRUE- No correspondence / conversation of any form has been sent to the Residents Campaign Group !Let the Campaign group see the paperwork to support this claim.
"The cathedral insists the garden will be accessible to the public, and they will take over the management, maintenance and security of the site, which has been tended by local residents on an informal basis for many years"
Many years ? Does that mean in EXCESS OF 40 YEARS, I think not !
"The plans include a worship space,and housing for the Canon Pastor "The original church closed from lack of Parishioners ! There is a Vicarage in Copperfield street , that can be used for the Canon Pastor, it will be more cost effective to renovate, than rebuild.
The small cottage residence adjacent to the church hall has just been relet on a long let - why ? If the church plans to demolish it ?
We were informed at previous consultation meetings that the "Vicarage" housed employees of the Cathedral, if that is the case, why was it advertised TO LET , ON THE OPEN MARKET ?
The new plans have not been made public yet , as the Cathedral put in an invalid application ? They have 8 weeks to rectify these.
Do you know also, that the Cathedral had the resident Birdboxes removed, just 2 weeks ago, and also the Garden carers at there own expense paid for security lights for the Garden , and yes you have guessed it , these have been removed also.
So why will the Cathedral NOT have a Public Meeting for the new plans, GOD KNOWS !
"Do you know also, that the Cathedral had the resident Birdboxes removed, just 2 weeks ago, and also the Garden carers at their own expense paid for security lights for the Garden , and yes you have guessed it , these have been removed also"
If the Cathedral has removed any items paid for and installed by the community they they have acted illegally unless they have offered to give them back. The ground may be theirs but nothing that the volunteers have installed belongs to them - and that includes the growing plants. Do the carers have a lawyer? If so they should send a stiff letter demanding the immediate return of their property - and make sure the public know of what the Cathedral authorities think of the seventh commandment - thou shalt not steal.
At last the Church has shown its true colour and one that is evident to all - that is not to be trusted where all Hallows Garden is concerned.
Ignored by the Church for years until they now see the pound signs lighting up by demolishing the derelict church on the site and erecting flats - and housing for the canon pastor( where they already exist) all to swell the coffers of the Church !
The existing garden cannot hope to survive when the demolition/building work commences on the land - where else is all the necessary plant and materials to be put - it is a crime - the garden has been enjoyed and loved by so many over the years.
The Church has acted like a "thief in the night" locking the gates when and how they did - no previous notification of their intention whatsoever - (can you imagine the Residents Campaign Group not taking action had they been so notified - NO -they would have fought tooth and nail - no wonder the Church would not sign an agreement that the Gardens would be open to the public.
The Residents Committee have always been open and above board when dealing with the Church on this matter - such a pity the Church has not reciprocated.
Is this a sign that the Church is now just a hard and fast business - then why preach from the pulpit what they fail to carry out.
I agree with Shifty. Ownership of the site may be legally disputable.
The Save All Hallows Campaign need to contact a lawyer and get professional advice.
I would also recommend handing out leaflets and putting up notices around Southwark Cathedral on a Saturday morning when the market is packed, explaining what is happening - and maybe askingn for donations to pay for teh legal advice.
I've lived within half a mile of the gardens for 6 years - I've only known they existed for a few months.
If people are serious about saving the gardens, then the SAHC may have to tell more people about them.
If the gardens are thuoght of as residents' gardens, then I doubt they can be saved. If they are promoted as public gardens, then maybe they can be.
I would be happy to volunteer some time on a Saturday morning to help.