Growing unrest over allotment costs
ALLOTMENT holders are rallying round to try and stop a 120 per cent hike in plot rents.Many of Ipswich's plot holders have been peacefully tending their fruit and vegetable patches for years.
ALLOTMENT holders are rallying round to try and stop a 120 per cent hike in plot rents.
Many of Ipswich's plot holders have been peacefully tending their fruit and vegetable patches for years.
But Ipswich Borough Council are looking into raising the annual rent for an allotment plot – and have floated the suggestion of raising rents by 122 per cent.
As the borough council's recent discussion paper outlined, this would see the annual rent rise from £18 to £40. Concessions – including pensioners – would have to fork out £20 instead of £12.50.
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There would be no change to the rent charged for people on low incomes.
Labour councillor John Mowles, the portfolio holder for leisure, said: "We said that any extra income raised would be put back into allotments because we are always getting requests for amenities such as fencing and paving.
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"Last year we spent £35,000 on capital investments. If we increased the rents, we would not have to raid the council tax kitty for capital expenditure on allotments."
But the suggestion that allotment rents might have to increase by as much as 122 per cent in one year has provoked outrage.
Bryan Taylor, chairman of Ipswich Allotment Holders Association, said: "Nobody likes to see a rise, but we have always accepted that rents should keep up with inflation. But nobody feels that this rise should happen all in one go.
"There are quite a few people who have more than one plot. The general feeling is that these people will give up one or more of their plots.
"We think about 15-20 per cent of the plots currently being rented would be lost.
"We would suggest a 60 per cent rent increase phased in over three years."
The decision as to whether allotment plot rents will increase has not yet been made.
The matter will be discussed by Ipswich Borough Council's executive committee on September 23.
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