Local authorities are preparing to hike allotment rents as government funding cuts bite.

Allotment rents are rising

Council chiefs are doubling or tripling rents as authorities struggle to cope with funding shortfalls from the government.

Brent Council in London has put up its prices. A medium-size allotment has gone up from £33 to £75 per year, while a full-size plot which used to cost £66 is now £150 per year.

The council insisted its revised charges were “very good value” at £1.50 per week for a medium plot and £3 per week for a large one. It will offer 50 per cent concessions for unemployed people, pensioners on pension credits, and disabled people.

Director of finance and corporate services, Clive Heaphy told AG: “The current tough economic challenges facing all local authorities have made it necessary to increase charges for some of our services. This was done reluctantly.”

Gardeners in Leeds took to internet forums to lash out at the City Council, claiming allotment rents had gone up from £33 to £50 this year.

Leeds City Council said rents would, in fact, rise from £15 to £17.50 for a half-plot, and from £30 to £35 for a full-plot.

Gardeners renting from cash-strapped Manchester Council said they fear they’re about to be hit by a rumoured 60 per cent rise in rents.

In Greenwich, London, allotmenteers believe that rents will rise from £66 to £200 per year.  A Greenwich spokesman said: “The council is facing unprecedented financial pressure following Government cuts which require Greenwich to make £63.4million of savings over the next four years.

“We are having to make tough decisions to protect frontline services and the council is consulting on whether we might raise plot charges to £2 per week.”

National secretary of the Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners, Donna McDaid, said some plot rents had gone up “considerably”.

“Rent increases vary,” Donna said. “But even if local authorities put allotment rents up by 50 per cent, it wouldn’t make much of a difference to councils’ funding situations.”

  • Tony

    I personally think that the real reason why local councils are increasing the amount of rent that they will be charging for allotments.

    Is simply because most of local councils are now running out of brown field sites to such as a extent due to development and the greater demand for housing,that they are now looking for way’s and other alternative’s that will be suitable for builting on eg(allotments- public parks- and greener spaces)and also those that can be sold off for future developement.

    So by means of increasing the rents for allotments will only be a perfect way of ‘out pricing’ the plot holder’s to such of an extent, that most of the plot holder’s will evetually have to give up their plot’s and this there for will mean that many of our allotment site’s through out our town’s and country will end up becoming more neglect and untidy which will only give the local council’s the perfect reason for them to be sold off for future developement.

  • susan ball

    The hike is once again hitting us hard and why should the unemployed have a 50% reduction. If they are fit enough to dig a garden they are fit enough to work! Here we go again bailing out the unemployed.

  • gary stevens

    Im frankly appaled by this as the current climate advertises even more financial misery for us all.How can the local council be taking even more money of the working man is the council taxation not enough?.No they even have to hit us where it hurts on our allotments?.Regarding the price also most of us spend a further £100 plus a season on seeds,tools etc come on give us a break!