A public meeting has been called after land housing allotments in Great Ayton was put up for sale.

Allotment holders were left in shock when a "for sale" board appeared at a side entrance to the site on Guisborough Road, on September 13.

A meeting has now been called by allotment holders at Christ Church Village Hall, Great Ayton, on Monday, October 2 at 7pm.

Darlington and Stockton Times: David Mason, far right, with fellow allotment holders at the Great Ayton allotments site

The meeting will hear feedback about the sale, and discuss a plan of action, including the potential for the community to raise enough money to buy the land.

West Yorkshire-based property consultants Fordy Marshall is inviting bids for the ten acre allotment gardens site and, in a separate lot, an area of adjacent grassland on the edge of the village able to be used for livestock farming, with the guide price set at offers over £250,000 and £195,000 respectively.

Read more: Shock as 'for sale' sign appears beside Great Ayton allotments

It said the freeholder was selling the allotment site with the parish council lease remaining in place and essentially just disposing of their interest.

Darlington and Stockton Times: An overhead view of the allotments site with the adjoining grassland and the boundaries highlighted. Picture/credit: Fordy Marshall Limited/Right Move. Free for use for all LDRS partners.

Director Christopher Fordy said: “We are not selling it for development, it has not got planning on it, what someone does with it in the future is up to them.

“The current owners are private individuals and would rather leave me to represent them in regard to any commentary on the sale.

“[They] have not taken any steps to terminate the existing tenancies and have no intention of doing so. 

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“In short, they are selling their interest in the land subject to the occupational interests commencing as they are currently. 

“There is no expectation, at this stage in any event, that the allotment holders will be required to vacate.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: A for sale sign which alerted locals. Picture/credit: Neil Reynolds/UGC. Free for use for all LDRS partners.

Mr Fordy said his company notified Great Ayton Parish Council, which leases the land and rents it to tenants, of the planned sale and made available the accompanying details ahead of going to the market.

He said: “In that correspondence we did advise that my clients are open to offers and that would include the potential for the parish council themselves, or other interested parties to bid to purchase the land. 

“As we have not been instructed to seek to negotiate a termination of the current leases – and as this is not the intention or wish of my clients – then we hoped that the parish council could convey this position to the allotment holders, with whom neither ourselves or our clients have any direct access to or contact details for.” 

Mr Fordy said that “naturally the strategic location of this land on the fringes of Great Ayton will make it of interest to land speculators and investors who may see potential for future development of some sort”. 

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He went on: “Any such plans would not necessarily involve the loss of allotment gardens.

“All that being said, none of the land is currently zoned for alternative use or development in the Local Plan and any future development would naturally be subject to all necessary planning consents.

“Our marketing details make this all very clear and we have been careful to highlight current planning policy which would restrict development. 

“Naturally things change over time and what is done in the future would be something a new owner or owners would need to contemplate and decide upon.

“To reiterate, that is not a route my clients seek to follow, and they are selling now as is their right, with no planning and subject to the status quo as far as the existing occupational leases are concerned.”