A community garden created on a residential street has been dismantled, after a resident complained to the Council that it was unlawful.

Residents of Lion Avenue, Twickenham, were inspired to construct a garden in their cul-de-sac over lockdown, after a neighbour left a box of soil outside their house.

But what started as a few pots and plants mushroomed into a community project – set with a homemade bench and rainbow murals.

Your Local Guardian: Community garden bench, Lions AvenueCommunity garden bench, Lions Avenue

“It went from there really, people donated seeds and within a few weeks there were tomatoes, courgettes and runner beans growing,” said one resident, Nancy.  

“It created a place for us all to come – socially distanced – to gather.”

Nancy, who has lived on Lion Avenue for over 15 years, said the garden allowed new neighbours to get to know the street, and for people of all ages to meet with friends.  

“It was a real suntrap, which would even draw people from other roads,” she added.

Your Local Guardian: Neighbours meet in socially distant gatheringNeighbours meet in socially distant gathering

However, in September, the garden was taken down, to the dismay of most residents.

A complaint was filed to Richmond Council that the garden – which is on public property – violated byway laws. A Council spokesperson commented:

“The Council has to respond to and act on complaints of unauthorised items on public highways. The decision was taken to allow the bench and pots to remain on Lion Avenue over the summer holidays, but that they would need removing in September.

“Residents of Lion Avenue are encouraged to submit a formal request for a bench in time for Summer next year.”

The road is in the process of making a request, but Nancy said neighbours are thoroughly disappointed by the outcome.

“We’re a close community - there are only eight residences. We have people from such different ages and backgrounds, including neighbours from as far as Venezuela. The garden was representative of what makes London good.

“It was a great sadness for everyone that one person didn’t want to join the community spirit.”