The National Allotment Society has joined a chorus of disapproval after Charlie Dimmock called for allotments to be carved-up into smaller plots in a bid to cut waiting times.

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“It appears that Ms Dimmock is of the opinion that allotments are for doing a bit of gardening and growing a few exotic fruit and veg. Not so,” said Karen Kenny, president of the National Allotment Society.

AG recently reported how the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS) was upset by Charlie’s comments (AG, 8 August).

Karen went on: “The standard size plot of 250 square metres is specifically the size needed to feed a family of four for 12 months of the year, which includes provision to keep a few hens.

“Some may wish for half a plot and this is fine, but they must be numbered as such – for example, 1A and 1B makes up a full plot.

“You will frequently find half-plot tenants are back on the waiting list for a second plot in a short time, realising that half is not enough.”

Karen said it is essential to ensure that small plots do not become the norm.

She added: “The answer is to protect those sites that we have, and to create more for demand that exists today, and will surely increase in future as more apartments and houses with tiny gardens are built to satisfy housing demand.”