ANGRY allotment holders hit out when Oxford City Council pulled their sheds down and burnt them, to make way for a new fence.

The allotment holders had been waiting 21 years for the fence in April 1985, which was to separate them from the gardens of houses in Howard Street.

But they were left with a bitter taste in their mouths over the damage.

Malcolm Thomas said: "I was completely taken aback. I was told by a neighbour they had just burned down my shed. They took out the panes of glass and put my tools to one side, then just set fire to it."

The East Oxford Allotments Association secretary, Richard Bowler, said the city council had only given him one week's notice of the work.

But according to him, the contractor had cleared more land than the eight foot wide strip which had been agreed.

The city council estates officer said the allotment holders had been told to move their sheds.

He said: "I understand that they were old and many in poor condition."

However, he did promise to look into the possibility of compensation.