Allotments in the News: Consultation Results and New Allotments Strategy

ALLOTMENTS IN CHRISTCHURCH

There is currently a shortage of allotments in Christchurch and some are under threat from new Housing Development. The Council gave the following information in the Spring 2012 issue of The Courier:

To address this, (the shortage of allotments) and after extensive consultation, the Council has adopted a new Allotment Strategy that sets out plans for the future provision of allotments in the Borough.

Details can be found on:

www.dorsetforyou.com/allotments/christchurch

But in essence the new strategy will almost double the amount of allotment land in the Borough over the next 17 years. The waiting list system will be overhauled and allotment agreements will be reviewed. Variable pricing and greater self-management will be introduced to help deliver a very cost effective and affordable service.

Alan Ottaway, Principal Officer for Open Spaces and Countryside, said “Many Christchurch residents are passionate about their allotments and they have been instrumental in helping us to come up with policies that will improve allotment standards for everyone and allow the Council to address the shortfall in an achievable way. This must be good news for any current allotment holders and also people who may be interested in holding an allotment in the future”
The Courier

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/districts/christchurch/9583946.Chr...

Christchurch allotment holders set to form federation to tackle waiting lists
2:30pm Monday 12th March 2012 in Christchurch By Katie Clark

ALLOTMENT holders in Christchurch say plans are afoot to form a federation following a number of changes to how they are managed.
At a Christchurch Borough Council meeting held recently proposals for a number of controversial changes were amended following a public consultation with residents and plot holders.

The proposed changes were seen as a good way to tackle the growing waiting lists and demand and included allocating plots to permanent borough residents only, with only one plot per household, charging double for non-residents and incr4easing prices. The council also wanted to end multiple plots, an issue which caused major concern among plot-holders.

But after nearly 100 responses from plot holders and associations across Christchurch as well as reaction from national bodies, other local authorities and ward councillors, officers looked again at the plans.
The new strategy has revised price increases, amended plans for multiple plots, which allow plot holders to retain them until the end of 2017, as well as a pledge to allow non-resident holders and holders who move out of the borough to continue their tenancies.

Non-residents will be charged double for their plots from 2014.
Amanda Geaves from Rutland Road said: “After all that not much has changed to be honest. It has cemented the strategy and made it more formal but the decisions mean that in reality it’s much the same as it was.
“All the sites are working together to set-up a federation of allotments which will be much more effective to manage waiting lists.”

And Alan Ruck, from Roeshot Hill, said: “We’re as pleased as we can be.
“I think the plot holders will be most pleased with the fact that they will be able to keep their plots of more than 10 rods until 2017 and there will be a due application process should they want to hold onto them beyond that.
“We as a committee are pleased that the council has listened to arguments about the fact that they can’t keep raising allotment charges out of line with other facilities in the borough."