Thursday, 4 February 2010

New rules tackle allotment waits

A STRICTER policy on allotment waiting lists is set to be introduced to meet a surge in demand.

Applicants will have to live in Solihull borough or 1km of the site, can only be on two waiting lists and will be asked each year if they want to stay on a list.

If they decline a plot they will be moved to the bottom of the list, guidance drawn up by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council says.

A SMBC report says: “Over the last three years there has been a significant increase in the popularity of allotment gardening resulting in increasingly long waiting lists.”

It said complaints have risen about un-kept plots and officers are now inspecting the council’s ten sites, including Knowle, right, every two months. Some 271 people were waiting in April.

The report says delays are not the result of the council being ‘proactive’ in letting plots, which cost a maximum £41.80 a year.

It says: The actual fact being applicants on the waiting list are either not responding to our letters or e-mails or feel that the plot they have been offered is not quite right for them and wish to wait for a more suitable plot.”

The council introduced quarter size plots in April last year to help cope with demand.

The policy will need to be introduced by the council’s cabinet. Click here for information on allotments.

The issue will be discussed at a meeting of the cabinet member for community services at the council tomorrow at 2pm. The public are welcome to attend. Click here for details.

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