Plans to auction off alleyways at the end of gardens came as a 'bolt from the blue' for neighbours in East Barnet

This Is Local London: Plans to auction off alleyways at the end of gardens came as a 'bolt in the blue' for neighbours Plans to auction off alleyways at the end of gardens came as a 'bolt in the blue' for neighbours

Plans to auction off alleyways at the end of East Barnet people's gardens came as “a bolt from the blue” to homeowners.

Householders in The Ridgeway, East Barnet, and the surrounding areas, were given just 11 days to bid for the alleyways behind their properties before they were sold to the highest bidder.

They all claim that when they bought their properties, conveyancing solicitors were unable to ascertain who owned the patches of land.

Many fear the land is big enough to accomodate new houses or flats, so are rallying together to ensure this does not happen.

Jackie Simpkins, whose father Sydney, 94, has lived in his property for over 50 years, said many elderly people in the area have been left confused by the plans.

She said: “Some people have been getting into a total state about this as they don’t understand what’s going on. They’re confused.

“It’s come as a bolt from the blue, no warning, nothing. Nobody wants to lose the area behind their houses, but there’s not been any consultation.

“It’s crazy, how can they go about things like that?”

Residents have been sending letters to their neighbours to “act fast” and rally together to decide what they want to do as a community.

There is no legal requirement to consult residents over selling land near their properties.

Geraldine and Stephen Smallbone bought their home in 2000 and have always left their bins in the access route.

But they fear the new freeholder could restrict access to their garage as their deed does not explicitly state “for vehicle access”.

Mrs Smallbone, 45, said: “It has left is anxious about the future, and where we stand. We have no idea what could go there.

“They’ve barely given us time to make a decision about what we want to do. We feel we should have been given more notice.

“It’s unreasonable.”

In total, 14 alleyways across East Barnet have been put up for auction by company Barnett Ross.

One includes a patch of land in Oak Hill Park – which is listed as Church Hill Park on the map – and is actually a conservation area.

They fear the grassy areas, which are around 30 metres wide, could be bought by developers to build houses or flats.

Barrister Christine Williams, of The Ridgeway, said: “It would pose a threat to the environment. We don’t want new properties built at the end of our garden.

“It would cause such disruption. We’re now going round speaking to neighbours so we can all rally together and decide what we want to do with this.”

They received letters on April 24, which informed them the land had in fact been owned by Residue London (Limited) since 1929 and was up for auction on May 13.

Despite this, chartered surveyor John Barnett of Barnett Ross auction house, in High Road, Whetstone, assured the land could not be built on.

He told the Times Series: “I’m sure they’re worried, but I’ve advised them not to buy it as they will have the same rights they’ve always had.

“Nobody can build houses on them because there’s rights under all the roadways. Some you can’t walk down because they’re overgrown.

“They’re going to be no worse off. The new owner could end up spending money on improving it by cutting away the foliage and putting gravel dwon to make it easier to pass and level.

“It would be an improvement for all the houses there, and they won’t have to pay any maintenance fees for it.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:23pm Tue 6 May 14

Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault says...

This so called journalist is a scaremongerer and stirrer. Very desperate for people to read the pathetic article.

1) alley way implies thin strip of land, usually to allow very limited access to properties and usually public land owned by the council, the headline implies a ludricous situation, why would an alley way be auctioned?!
2) later in the article it refers to 'land' and building on that land, so is it an alley or is it a much large piece of land, who would build flats on an alley way?!
3) as referred to in 1) an alley ways are usually public land and most people know them as such and think it is the council who is auctioning tHe land and 'acting unreasonably'. Much later on the article it is a private freeholder who owns it etc

Pathetic, trivial, stirring and trying to implicate the council. Journalism at its worst, go back to editing the uni rag.
This so called journalist is a scaremongerer and stirrer. Very desperate for people to read the pathetic article. 1) alley way implies thin strip of land, usually to allow very limited access to properties and usually public land owned by the council, the headline implies a ludricous situation, why would an alley way be auctioned?! 2) later in the article it refers to 'land' and building on that land, so is it an alley or is it a much large piece of land, who would build flats on an alley way?! 3) as referred to in 1) an alley ways are usually public land and most people know them as such and think it is the council who is auctioning tHe land and 'acting unreasonably'. Much later on the article it is a private freeholder who owns it etc Pathetic, trivial, stirring and trying to implicate the council. Journalism at its worst, go back to editing the uni rag. Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault
  • Score: -9

10:51pm Tue 6 May 14

Mike NW7 says...

Why are you so upset that the council might be seen in a negative light? Are you an East Barnet Conservative councillor looking to get re-elected by any chance?
Why are you so upset that the council might be seen in a negative light? Are you an East Barnet Conservative councillor looking to get re-elected by any chance? Mike NW7
  • Score: 9

7:39am Wed 7 May 14

Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault says...

No I'm not I'm just tired of unbalanced reporting
No I'm not I'm just tired of unbalanced reporting Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault
  • Score: -5

10:02am Wed 7 May 14

BenEjack says...

The story has nothing to do with the council, surely if you had read it properly you'd realise that? The journalist was just reporting the residents concerns, and they are right to be worried because this so called practice of "garden grabbing" is happening all over England.
The story has nothing to do with the council, surely if you had read it properly you'd realise that? The journalist was just reporting the residents concerns, and they are right to be worried because this so called practice of "garden grabbing" is happening all over England. BenEjack
  • Score: 8

11:33am Wed 7 May 14

Mr. Datchery says...

BenEjack wrote:
The story has nothing to do with the council, surely if you had read it properly you'd realise that? The journalist was just reporting the residents concerns, and they are right to be worried because this so called practice of "garden grabbing" is happening all over England.
Quite right, I suspect he was confused by the fact that the land is to be auctioned by a company called Barnett Ross, isn't that silly.
[quote][p][bold]BenEjack[/bold] wrote: The story has nothing to do with the council, surely if you had read it properly you'd realise that? The journalist was just reporting the residents concerns, and they are right to be worried because this so called practice of "garden grabbing" is happening all over England.[/p][/quote]Quite right, I suspect he was confused by the fact that the land is to be auctioned by a company called Barnett Ross, isn't that silly. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 6

6:22pm Wed 7 May 14

Lucy Furr says...

"The Ridgeway, East Barnet"?!
Do you actually mean Ridgeway Avenue, East Barnet?
"The Ridgeway, East Barnet"?! Do you actually mean Ridgeway Avenue, East Barnet? Lucy Furr
  • Score: 1

9:48pm Wed 7 May 14

Barnet Parker says...

I think your comments have just outed you Councillor Unreasonable. From your hysterical reaction to this article I think we can also take a reasonable guess which ward you represent.
I think your comments have just outed you Councillor Unreasonable. From your hysterical reaction to this article I think we can also take a reasonable guess which ward you represent. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 6

7:15am Thu 8 May 14

gingis says...

These alleys have never been closed off and have been used daily by residents over many years so should now be deemed public rights of way.
These alleys have never been closed off and have been used daily by residents over many years so should now be deemed public rights of way. gingis
  • Score: 1

7:46pm Thu 8 May 14

Cadwallader says...

If the land was owned by London Residue - why was this not flagged up in solicitors' searches? Deeds to property should contain schedules detailing the access points, including rear access via the lanes.
If the land was owned by London Residue - why was this not flagged up in solicitors' searches? Deeds to property should contain schedules detailing the access points, including rear access via the lanes. Cadwallader
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree