I recently wrote a love letter to my allotment. It was an homage to my little patch of ground that had, in less than 2 years, come to mean so much to me. Its not perfect but having the space to grow my own fruit, vegetables and cut flowers had made a such a difference to my life. The saying goes ‘you can’t put a price on happiness’ and yet something happened at the weekend that made me look at my plot in the cold-hearted terms of money.
On the way to the allotment on Sunday morning I bumped into a fellow plot holder and we got chatting about the weather, his asters and his Sunday lunch. Just as we were about to say our farewells he remembered something. ‘They’re putting the price up of the allotments, you know’, he said. I didn’t. He went on to say that they would be charging by the square metre, a £1 a square metre and that he had already told them he would be giving his up, as a result.
My own plot, classed as a full size plot, is 20 metres by 7 metres and I currently pay £10 a year. Compared to rents across the country I know it is extraordinarily low but it got me thinking, just how much would I pay for my beloved plot and what would others consider an appropriate charge. Some of the most expensive plots in the country cost over £150 a year and I would be willing and able to pay this for renting my plot, although I would want a justification for such a price rise and would expect more facilities in return. But for those living on a limited income of a pension, which make up the majority of other plot holders at my site, I’m guessing that this would be a prohibitive amount. Then there are those who choose to pay the £10 a year so they keep hold of their plot but do very little with it but it doesn’t really matter to them if that £10 has been wasted. They might think differently with a significant price rise. This might not be such a bad thing if it routed out those who take up plots when they aren’t that bothered about them. But I did wonder whether there would be anyone, other than me, who would consider paying any sort of price rise let alone £1 per square metre. The idea that this might be a cunning plan to get everyone off the plots to sell off the land crossed my mind. Would I be the lone person defending my plot as the bulldozers came in?
There seems to be such variance across the country in the rent charged by councils for allotments. A study by the University of Leicester in 2011 which gathered data from allotment sites in England found rent charges ranged from 1p to 55p per square metre, with the average plot measuring 250 m2 and costing 15p per square metre. The 1950 Allotment Act states councils can only charge ‘at such rent as a tenant may reasonably be expected to pay for the land’. That’s clear then! There is also such a difference in what is offered in return for the rent. Some plots have water, toilets, communal sheds, storage facilities, deliveries of compost and bark chippings. My own allotment offers water on tap but nothing else but that’s fine as I only pay £10, I would expect to pay more for any other amenities.
Steep price rises have become common place in recent years with doubling, and even tripling of rents not unusual. Canterbury City Council proposed that a full plot for 2012/13 will cost £104 compared to £52 in 2011/12. The justification for rises such as this, across the country, is that councils are having to find ways of managing their budgets in the face of massive shortfalls in funding from central government. Are allotments now being seen by councils as cash cows rather than a subsidised facility that were never intended to supply councils with funds? In places with long waiting lists maybe councils feel they can get away with charging more but it’s a risky strategy in other places. You won’t raise more money if everyone gives up their plot.
For me, having an allotment was never really about saving money by growing my own food but for some of the older plot holders it is. Many of them grow staple crops such as potatoes and onions in large enough quantities to keep them going through the winter. Any significant price rise will wipe out any saving they are making and I suspect they would no longer be interested in having a plot.
In the days before allotments had become popular there was a dearth of plot holders in my village. As a result some of the regulars acquired more plots which they still have today, despite there being a waiting list. Pricing them out of having more plots on the face of it would seem only fair. The down side is these regulars are the ones who really do look after their plots.
Of course, all I had heard was a rumour, the rest was my imagination running away with itself. The allotments in my village are the responsibility of the parish council and are managed by the parish clerk. So to see if I could find out the facts I gave him a ring. I can’t say I came off the phone feeling any clearer about what I’ll be paying for my plot. There are quite a lot of different sizes to some of the plots and it has been deemed unfair that the charges don’t reflect this. Apparently, measurements have been taken and letters will be issued to clarify who rents what. I can think of one plot holder, in particular, who has three large plots, who will be particularly affected. The rent will go up as a new charging structure is introduced but this has yet to be decided. Only time will tell what others are willing to pay for their plots. After years of being used to, what is admittedly very low rent charges, it’ll be interesting to see who will be around this time next year. I do hope it’s not just me.
How much would you be willing to pay for your plot?
A really interesting post. I’m just about to take over a plot on the small allotment that backs on to my back garden. There are only 5 plots and currently only one being worked. The chap who has it was telling me that the rent is increasing from £22 to £75 this year. There are no facilities there or a committee so quite what the rise is for is a mystery. He told me that the council had told him that the other plots did belong to people, they even gave him names, but he knew of none of them. I have lived here for over 10 years and the end 3 plots have never been worked. I’m anticipating coming up against a bucketful of council nonsense when I make contact again. Wish me luck!
Councils seem to see allotments as a nuisance. They don’t make them any money and they just get ‘grief’ from people. I’m sure they would prefer it if they didn’t have any. If they were managed properly rather than left to fester I’m sure there wouldn’t be so many problems. It seems like a big price hike for no apparent reason. Good luck! 🙂
I do hope that you’re not right about them wanting to stop the allotments. when I lived in SE England I had an allotment, I had 3 standard plots (it was measured in poles and I don’t remember exactly how big that is). I paid £5 a plot per year; even at this amazingly low price there were actually only about 3 or 4 of us (that was about 10 years ago). We discussed here before about the relative amounts of money you save growing your own and I don’t believe it is the reason most people do it. I feel very privileged to have my veg garden as part of my garden. Christina
I hope so too. I think most people don’t do it to save money but I think the older men have been used to it being so cheap for so long will be put off at higher prices.
Yes, I’m sure you’re right about the old men and in many areas they are still the majority aren’t they? christina
Flâneur Gardener said:
In Denmark, allotments are sold just like leaseholds are in the UK, and since Danish allotments tend to be around 500-800 sqm, the prices tend to be in the 40-60.000 pound range around Copenhagen (down to around 5.000 pounds around the lesser cities). Add to that the annual cost for the allotment association (frequently in excess of 600 pounds) it becomes rather absurdly expensive to have an allotment in Denmark, and definitely not a cost you can recoup by “growing your own”…
Mind you, in Denmark allotments tend to be less about produce and more about getting out of the city; you can see a few depictions on stamps here:
-Quite a bit more of a leisure-feel than a “dig for victory”-feel…
I read a great article about the allotments in Denmark being more like gardens and that people would often sleep over in the huts they had. They looked gorgeous. I guess if you live in an apartment and that is your outdoor space you would pay more for it than your typical British sort of allotment. Coming to the conclusion we need to save more money for a bigger garden in the future.
Flâneur Gardener said:
Here allotments are really just miniature holiday homes close to where you live, and some people – especially of the older generations – actually move to their allotments for the duration of the summer months. In some ways it’s difficult to see the difference between an allotment site and a holiday home area, except that allotment plots tend to be smaller than the plots in a place like where we have our holiday home – the summer house.
Eventually, though, I would love to get rid of the city apartment and the summer house and replace them with a house with a nice garden that I could enjoy every day, but… I’m not quite done with city living, so for now we will keep up the double household for the rest of this decade! It’s such a privilege to live in the city and still have a garden, even if it brings some challenges.
It’s getting harder in the UK to get a house with a good size garden and those that have are becoming more expensive, even in a recession. We’re saving in the hope that in a few years we can move somewhere with a bit more land. in the mean time my plot allows me to grow so many crops I could never fit into my back garden.
Flâneur Gardener said:
To get a decent-sized garden near Copenhagen would also cost a fortune… As long as I want urban life at my door step, a garden is not an option. Still, The Flâneur Husband and I agree that maybe some day when we’ve had our fill of City Life, a house in the country might replace the city apartment… (At a much lower price.)
I’m not sure I could live in a city. Never have, and the only ones we fancy are York or Bath and neither of these really feel like cities. Maybe that’s why we’d live in them. There are times when I’ve visited friends who live in London or Glasgow and we’ve visited galleries, great cafes and restaurants and all those little independent shops selling funky stuff that I think it would be amazing to give it a try. Then I realise just how much money I’d spend on eating out and buying things that I think it is probably better for our finances that we don’t take up city living. And now we’ve got the garden and the quest is to get a bigger one, it probably isn’t a real option.
Flâneur Gardener said:
The good thing about Copenhagen is that it’s a capital, but doesn’t have that London feel to it. It’s so much smaller, and you can cross the city centre in 15 minutes on foot – or 5 minutes on a bike. And people bike everywhere, there are plenty of parks and quays for outdoor picnics and it’s generally just too lovely to give up just yet…
Mind you… A large garden right outside your front door… Oh, how lovely it would be!
Copenhagen does sound like a gorgeous place. The reason I dislike cities in the UK so much is that traffic rules. The noise, the fumes it just makes it all so unpleasant. I can see why you would be reluctant to leave.
I recently realised that my enjoyment and justification for having an allotment lies largely in the exercise it provides in the fresh air. The produce is a very good bonus and from July through to November it provides much of the week’s vegetables.. So I tell myself a rent up to £100 would just about be manageable because it’s still cheaper than joining a gym. And if you add £50 for seeds and sundries and forget the hours spent digging and weeding.then it would still be only £3 a year. Gosh I hope the site rep doesn’t read this I really don’t want the rent to double.
I agree about the other benefits. My main concern is others, the retired men, won’t want to pay so much. If they go there won’t be many left at all. Don’t know what would happen if there were only a few plot holders left.
Kathryn Marsh said:
Here in Ireland there are almost no municipal allotments and because of Irish land holding laws plot renters can only rent such plots for less than a year and a day. In the next year they may be allocated a different plot. Rents for such plots tend to be around €50-100 euro a year range for 100-200 sq m . Water, paths etc are normally reasonable but the entire area is often ploughed once a year.
However, in recent years there has been a massive growth in the provision of private allotments. These are normally individually fenced and have individual water laid on and unlimited free manure. Many provide sheds and some even small polytunnels. Prices are in the 2-300 euro range for 200 sq m. Although they were wildly popular at first many of those who took them up initially have since given up when they found it involved work, or more travel than was economically sensible. (Many are some distance from the houses or those likely to use them). At the moment things are still settling down and real patterns will take a while to emerge. I’ll be most interested to see what happens in municipal allotments being developed down the road from me to serve a nearby small town, since a pig club will be part of the scheme.
Kathryn Marsh said:
On pricing, I had municipal two allotments in the north of England in the 1060s as a teenager and paid £5 for one and £10 for the other. The cheaper had been abandoned to weeds when I took it over and was therefore available at low rent while the other was in good heart. And yes, I was unusually young to be an allotment holder and I gained mightily from the assistance, both physical and in terms of knowledge, of those who spent most of their days in the association hut
It would be sad if the older people are priced off the plots. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I’ve had my allotment for five years – its only a half size allotment and I pay £35 per year ( I live in Surrey) which i think is good value. We have water & an allotment society with a little shop for all our bits and pieces. I would pay more if we had to – i just love being able to visit my plot enjoy the exercise, peace and quiet and the thrill of producing fresh fruit and veg never stops.
I think £35 sounds a reasonable amount. I’m not so keen on £140. 😦
Sorry to hear that your allotment rent is likely to rise WW – it’s happening throughout the country. Our allotment rent for next year will rise from £31 a year to £80 a year. Originally the local council were planning to hike it up to £100 a year! There was much verbal and written opposition from plot holders including letters to MPs, councillors, newspapers etc. I think that most people accepted that a rent rise was inevitable given the cutback in government funding to local authorities. However it was the scale of the rise that upset so many people. My plot is an economically and socially deprived area in the north west and many plot holders are on state pensions, low incomes or are unemployed yet there are to be no concessions. Like your plot we have access to water but that is it. Our allotment association built its own community area and greenhouse and have recently been successful in applying for a national lottery grant to purchase and instal a composting toilet. Our main path is an atrocious state but we do not anticipate that the council will pay for improvements.
Since the rent rise has been formally ratified a number of plot holders have said that they will be leaving and multi plot holders are cutting down on their plots. I wonder too who will be there next year and how many people will be waiting in the wings for the empty plots at £80 a year, when we already have plots lying empty for months now. You might be interested in this article – http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9847794.Gardeners____vow_to_keep_fighting_after_losing_allotment_rent_appeal/
In answer to your question though WW I am prepared to pay £80 a year but have not yet considered how much I would ultimately be prepared to pay.
Thanks for the link Anna. It’s sad, isn’t it? I know that councils are having to make hard choices but I really don’t think allotments should be plugging the funding gap. Leisure centres are not seen as profit making, they are expected to be subsidised so I do’t see why allotments shouldn’t be seen in the same way. My local council does nothing to maintain the plots. Perhaps some councillors and local authority chief execs could take a small pay cut instead. 😉 I haven’t worked out how much I would ultimately be prepared to pay either. Hopefully, neither of us will have to make that decision.
My allotment is £25 a year plus allotment association fee comes to a total of £36. The association have just taken over self-management from the council and I wonder how long the rent will stay the same. The site is new and water is included in the rent but they have no idea how much water has been used in a year so they don’t know whether the rent will cover the water and the payment to the council. The committee are very ambitious – wanting money for this and money for that. It is one of the reasons I no longer enjoy going to the plot.
I also think that at sat £20 – 30 a year then you feel you are getting value for money and that you are saving money growing your own veg but once it gets to £100 plus you have to start thinking about it. Of course as you enjoy your time at the plot so much you might think it is money well spent.
Sounds like you need to ask the question of the council direct so you can stop worrying
Apparently there is to be a council meeting towards the end of September to decide about rent rises. There are also rumours that the county council are getting involved and possibly want to sell off allotments and create gardening associations. I didn’t get very far when I spoke to the man who runs them and have been trying to track down chairman of the council but to no avail. I’ll just have to be patient.
It sounds like I am very fortunate in that my plot cost me the princely sum of £17 this year – which includes £1 for my share of the water bill. We have no allotment association or amenities other than the provision of water. I’m not sure what I would be prepared to pay or draw the line at if it were to go up and feel it could be tempting fate to put a figure on it … but in pure economic terms, even at such a low rate I can’t really say it saves me much money.
However the benefits in terms of fresh air, exercise, and completely losing myself for hours whenever I go up there are huge. Gardening is therapy and what else would I be doing if not gardening … retail therapy ?
I completely agree that – for all ages – it is extremly short-sighted to allow plots to become so expensive they are untenable. The knock-on benefits of such a healthy pastime – both mentally and physically should not be underestimated.
Good luck with fighting your rent increase!
Hi Celia, I agree allotments provide so many benefits. Things are looking promising at the moment with suggestions of an allotment association.
Donna@Gardens Eye View said:
I find it fascinating reading about plots and allotments as we here in the US garden in our yards…a plot would be found in many cities here now or community gardens with some plots in cities…
It would be nice to have a garden big enough to grow my veggies at home but houses with good sized gardens are getting harder to find and becoming more expensive to buy. We’re saving in the hope that we can move in the next few years to somewhere with a bigger garden but in the meantime my plot, as for many others, is so important.
Allotments provide people with social interaction, exercise and fresh vegetables, everything which we are told is good for our health and well being. In terms of promoting the health of our communities they should seen as a good investment and there is an argument for ensuring that they are made available to anyone who would like one, especially those without gardens. We should be encouraging people to grow their own vegetables not charging them for the privilege. I sometimes wonder at the value systems of our politicians and have no doubt that most of them live in cloud-cuckoo land.
So the value is inestimable and the price free to all.
I agree. Maybe one day all communities will need access to market gardens and allotments because imported food will be too expensive.
So sorry to hear that your rent will probably rise, I feel that we are very lucky to have an area in the garden that we can use. I know that here in our village they are trying to get allotments started, but it wouldn’t be the council providing the land but a local landowner. I don’t know how they can justify such a huge rise if they aren’t going to provide you with a lot more ameneties, hope you get some satisfaction from your enquiries, will wait to hear the outcome!
We’re saving up in the hope we can afford to move to somewhere with a bigger garden in the next few years but until them my plot is so important. Things are looking a little more positive at the moment though.
Hi I have 3 plots all together as if they were one very large plot. I love my allotment and have often wondered what if they trebled the rent because there was word of it.
I couldn’t bear the thought of having to give it up, I think it keeps me sane. I also have chickens and couldn’t give them up.
So far every year my rent has increased by £5 per plot and last year I paid £135.00 for the 3.
I will have to find whatever they decided to put our rents up to.
We are quite a large site and allot of people are not keeping their plots up to scratch in fact they take on plots and just leave them which is awful because the plot holders that look after their plots end up with weeds that come from these unkempt plots.
We are supplied with water but nothing else. We don’t get compost, bark chippings or anything else supplied. We don’t have a communal shed or anything else that most sites have in our area.
They have tried to fold our site to sell it off to developers but they cant do this as there is a Covent placed on the site and cant be used for anything else other than allotments, which is great but it wouldn’t stop them from out pricing us.
Our site has mairstail and this weed is a nightmare and can’t be got rid of which is my only bug bear with my plots. The awful summer has added to the increased number of undesirable weeds because the weather has stopped me weeding and keeping them under control, but I have to go to the plot everyday because my chickens need feeding etc.
I love my plots and find its a bolt-hole from the rat race, we are even based on a main road which really I can never hear, I only hear the birds singing and the bees buzzing when the sun is shining.
So in summery I would never consider giving up my piece of paradise.
You obviously love your plots. They are such great places. Hopefully they will always be appreciated and celebrated.
How very thought provoking, I do hope they are not trying to price people out of the site, just trying to recoup some of the money they are missing due to lower government funding. Mind you, a hike in allotment rents isn’t exactly going to pay for a new road, is it! My concern about the rising rents is the same as yours, its all very well for people who are relatively well off, but for the retired or people on benefits, there is a huge gulf between finding £30 and finding £100, particularly all in one go. I’d have thought that an active allotment association could keep on top of people who didn’t make good use of their plots, I know ours was very on the ball regarding that, and that if you consider the health benefits of people getting out and tending a plot, it should save more money for the NHS than it “costs” to have people growing leeks and potatoes. All the more true if there is only water on the site, and no other facilities.
Janet, Things are looking more positive, with talk of an allotment association being established. Will keep you posted!
I’m so blessed to have my plot as a Kitchen Garden behind the house… Though I’m still on the council waiting list for an allotment and have been for 5 years! That’s living in London eh?
I can’t imagine having to wait so long for an allotment but at least you have enough space to grow some crops. Do you know where you are on the waiting list and how much longer you’ll have to wait?
For the particular allotment that I want, in walking distance and by the canal, there is hardly any movement. I was offered a plot the other end of the borough, but doesn’t driving to grow your own defeat the object?
I’ll stay on the list in case one ever does come up and I’ll see whether I could use it for low maintance crops (asparagus, potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.) and more bees!
You never know….
Mine’s gone up from £10 to £15 in a year – still a reasonable amount overall but a 50% rise. That’s with no water at all, and dangerously bumpy ankle-twisting paths. I agree that more and more councils will see the allotments as money-raising ventures (or building sites) as time goes by and only the better-off are likely to stay, which would be a very sad development…
I can’t imagine managing without water. Can’t see why you should be paying anything for them as it doesn’t sound like the council reinvests the money in the site.
I pay £24 per year for my half plot. I’m not actually sure that it’s a half plot, but it’s certainly smaller than a full sized plot. There are four allotment sites in our area which are managed by the same association. On my site there are only six half sized plots, two of which are cut in half again. We don’t have any mains water or any other amenities. I don’t have my allotment to save money on my veggies, it’s a case of having a hobby, and when you compare the cost of my allotment against other hobbies, it’s very cheap, especially when you consider what you’re getting out of it, exercise, camaraderie, and all that lovely organic veg.
I surprised by how many have commented about their rent and said there are no other facilities. I really don’t like the idea of the money just going into council coffers, they should at least reinvest it in the sites, improving facilities.
Kathryn Marsh said:
I’m fascinated at the suggestion that any sum under £100 a year can be seen as not saving money on fresh vegetables. To start off with most people don’t have access to really fresh vegetables – just look at the sell by dates in the supermarkets and look up some studies on how quickly the vitamin levels in veg deteriorates after harvest, even in sealed atmosphere packaging. Price what you harvest even in a week in a supermarket, greengrocer or farmers market that you can reach with the same expenditure of walking time, bus fare or petrol. If someone isn’t making at least £300 after costs then they need to join a gardening class. I regularly cost different types of vegetable growing space just so I can keep class handouts up to date. 3 x 2 foot window boxes will yield a bunch of radishes every two days from April to mid-October. Two fish boxes will give you lettuce every day from March to November and two more the same in asian greens for salds or stir fries. My son and his girl friend, both chefs, produce all their salads and herbs around the year on a balcony 4 feet x 12 feet and have plenty of room for a barbecue and a couple of chairs. A well run half plot should give all the salads and veggies other than spuds that a family needs in the year – and the other half will give most of the carbohydrate needs of that family.
And then add in that camaraderie, the absence of gym fees, the sense of achievement, reduced bills for over the counter medications, physiotherapist, psychiatrists.
It would be good if those who are unemployed, old people and others with financial problems could get a discount, but it has been my experience over the years that those are the groups who actually get most out of their plots in terms of both productivity and enjoyment – far more sensible to spend the money on growing nutritious food than on supermarket imported rubbish
Sorry if this has turned into a bit of a rant but I’m looking from outside the UK and I sometimes think you lot in Britain don’t know you’re born when it comes to the opportunities for producing your own food and having fun while you do it.
Allotments here in Tasmania are non existent. I only know of one allotment in our city (Hobart) of over 220,000 people. It is enormously popular and has a years long waiting list.
We live within the City of Hobart council area and live close to the centre of the city – the centre in only 10 mins walk away from our house. Although Hobart City Council is one of the wealthiest councils in Tasmania and they also own thousands of hectares of reserves, public gardens and parks, I am not away of a single allotment set up anywhere. This is despite most of the area within the Council municipal boundaries being typically older houses on much smaller than average lots. Our previous home was a co-joined Victorian terrace and our rear garden was maybe 120sqm and that also included the front garden, driveway, paths etc! It was absolutely tiny and also overshadowed by neighbouring houses and our enormous old Bay tree. I was really really keen to grow veggies but simply didn’t have the land or solar access. I grew herbs in pots hanging on the side of the house and lemon and cumquat trees in pots but that’s all I could manage. In the end we moved house to get a bigger garden. Our new house is one of the few in our neighbourhood with a decent sized garden and yes, it is the primary reason we purchased the house.
It really is a shame that allotments aren’t taken more seriously by Councils. It shouldn’t even be a profit making venture for Councils. The community and social benefits are enormous before even taking into account the personal benefits for those growing their own.
Despite working as a Council employed town planner (don’t hold it against me!!), I really do think Councils need to get their act into gear on allotments and start to realise the enormous benefits they bring communities and individuals.
Hoping your rents don’t go up too much!
It’s getting harder to find houses in the UK with good sized gardens and those that have are becoming more expensive. That’s why allotments are so important. One of the problems is demand on land and the need to build more houses means gardens have got smaller and smaller. We’re saving in the hope we can afford something bigger in the future. News on the plot is more hopeful. I’ll keep you posted.
Just to say that I’ve had a quick look at this post and will be back to comment, later today or tomorrow, after I’ve read it properly. xx
An interesting and thoughtful post on a subject that crops up regularly on gardening blogs and forums. The other comments make interesting reading as well.
I agree with much of what you say, and which probably applies to many sites around the country.
As to the future I’m sure that there will continue be a wide variation in what councils do and charge.
I’m sure that like me you think about what could, and indeed should, be done to encourage growing our own as it brings countless benefits to everybody. However I’d be amazed if it happens as sadly all bureaucracy ever seem to concern themselves with is ‘the bottom line’ and ‘the short term’.
This year I paid £20, up from £14, for my 30 by 50 feet half plot, and as to what I would be prepared to pay in future let’s just say that it would be more providing it stays within reasonable limits.
Nice pictures, and just wish that I could grow that sunflower! xx
Thanks Flighty. At the moment things are looking a little more positive with talk of an allotment association being formed. So fingers crossed we can get enough people together to make it happen.
Would you like some Vanilla Ice seeds? I can send you some when I save mine. If you have a sunny window sill you could maybe start some off in a pot next spring.
You’re welcome. That’s a good idea as even a small group is better than individuals.
Yes please. I’m collecting and sorting seeds at the moment so I’ll email you when I’ve done as there may be some of mine that you’d like. xx
I’ll make a note of that. Sounds like a bit of a seed swap. 🙂
What an interesting post. I’m a bit like Pauline, in that I’m lucky enough to be able to use my garden, and in that there’s a movement to create some allotments in a nearby village / town (Harlech), but they would also be private. When I was down in London I was on an allotment list for so long that I eventually moved – and yet the allotments in question had several unused, semi-derelict plots. Rents were paid to the council and because of that nothing was done (there was no Allotment Association of any kind).
It would be a real shame if the older people – often those who have kept allotments going through the vagaries of fashion – were forced off, though some rationalisation is probably necessary. Hope you do manage to get your own Allotment Association going – it should help your negotiations…
I think one of the reasons why waiting list are so high is that sites aren’t managed properly. I keep hearing about sites with plots that are unused and yet have waiting lists.
a fascinating and debateable post. Since the recent grow your own momentum, allotments have become like gold and hence councils are cashing in. The regulations are far too vague and not forgetting that the govt has also loosened building regulations and planning so you could be right about being priced off your plot. p.s. noted the cool and pretty helianthus growing in this heated debate
Thanks Laura, It seems like it might be more that the council just wants the allotments off their hands. We might be able to set up an allotment association and have more control over what we can do on the plots. Hopefully! The sunflower’s lovely isn’t it. I thought I’d add some pretty pics to provide some light relief.
Tanya and Roy said:
Hi, we were following your comments about the rent rises on twitter. I agree with so much that you commented on, particularly the fact that low rents can allow some plot holders to hold onto more than one plot and create a waiting list which – as a result – will never move. Its a grey area of course and any change is often unwelcome by a percentage of the people.
Some councils are thinking that their allotment revenues is a cash cow and they need to seriously consider the impact on the community.. an active allotment, enjoyed by a range of folks, often on limited budgets against their own plans to kit out their wardens, etc with the latest mobile phone technologies.
Fabulous blog, I’m looking forward to coming back in later and having a good read..
from Tanya and Roy (@Gotalottie) and pushingupdandelions.blogspot.co.uk 🙂
Hi guys, Thanks for coming along and reading my blog. It looks like we might be able to stop the rent rise by forming an allotment association. It’s all a bit up in the air at the mo but I’ll keep you posted.