Nottingham: City council moot allotment rent bombshell

MarkiB mark at
Sat Jan 8 12:02:48 GMT 2011

City council rent bombshell for allotment holders

Published: January 08, 2011 by Radfordian 

Nottingham City Council is holding a consultation of changes to allotment
tenancies, rent levels and plot allocation. They claim that the review
"aims to encourage more people to get involved with growing food in
Nottingham." In fact, the changes would involve the trebling of rents for
allotments in Nottingham.

A skim read of the proposed changes to tenancy agreements does not reveal
anything too controversial. In fact, a lot of the proposals are good ones
(in principle) because they aim to deter the passing on of allotments to
friends when there are people on the waiting list for new ones.

However, it is my view that these are not the core aims of the review. By
far the biggest change to the current system is the proposed changes to
rents for plots. The current figures, listed in a table in the consultation
are: Ground rent - 7p/sqm, water charge - 6p/sqm (it doesn't say what the
units are). However, they are proposing a gradual increase in grount rent
so that, by 2016 it will be 20p/sqm for ground rent and 15p/sqm for water.
This is a 180% increase for ground rent and 150% increase for water. These
figures are well beyond the rate of inflation and will make allotment
holding and growing your own food a much more costly activity. 

Given the massive cut to their budget, it's not surprising that NCC are
looking for ways to make money, especially as they claim to be trying to
provide enough allotments for the increasing numbers of residents who want
one. However, passing that cost on to existing allotment holders seems
extremely unfair. Allotment holders, after all, are usually the people who
can't afford houses with gardens and grow their own food to supply their
food needs.

All allotment holders are being sent a consultation pack which they can
use to object to the proposed changes. Given NCC's past record on
consultations (ignoring the results they don't want, rigging them so they
get the results they do) I don't imagine we'll get much positive
interaction through bureaucratic routes. However, I'm sure there are more
creative ways we could protest this unequitable move.

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list