West Norfolk allotment costs set to double in coming years

Allotment Holders of Ferry Road West Lynn. Angry of "Quadrupling rents" Pictured front  Nancy Brown. Stuart Howard with allotment holders.
Allotment Holders of Ferry Road West Lynn. Angry of "Quadrupling rents" Pictured front Nancy Brown. Stuart Howard with allotment holders.

Allotment holders are in disbelief over West Norfolk Council’s plans to double the cost of plot land within the next few years.

The cost of an allotment in Lynn at present is 14 pence per square metre, which equates to around £50 per year, but as of April 2019 that price is set to double.

From April 1 2018 one square metre of green land will cost an allotment holder around £77 per year and as of April 1, 2019, people will be asked to pay about £100 per year to rent a green space.

Ferry Road allotment holder, Stuart Howard said: “I paid 7p per square metre last year, and now I pay 14p per square metre. But, that price is still set to increase next year and the year after.

“I have three allotments and the price to run them all is just getting too high. It was tolerable when we were paying £50, but I can’t imagine that many people will actually pay for the allotments when the prices increase and increase again the following year.

“This will leave them empty and unkept. But, it is not just the price of the allotments we are paying for it is also the upkeep.

“We spend money on seeds, plants, water as well as the rent of the land. It all adds up.

“A lot of people in King’s Lynn are not happy about the prices increasing or the thought of having to give up their allotments. I can see this driving people away.”

Lynn is currently home to 557 allotment plots, with West Norfolk Council responsible for the management of the sites.

There are several allotment sites within the unparished area of Lynn, including, Curtis Field, Gaywood, Ouse Avenue, Wardles Chase, Ferry Road, Seven Sisters and Turbus Road.

There are also five other sites, which are managed by the Allotment Association, on Drakes Field, Winfarthing Avenue, Old Gala Ground, Sharpins Field and North Lynn.

A West Norfolk Council spokesperson said: “The costs of maintenance and repairs to allotment sites has risen steadily over the last 16 years, whereas the rents for these allotments have not been reviewed or increased at all during that time. The last increase being in 2001.

“Following an audit of allotments, it was recommended that rents were increased to being them in line with allotments elsewhere in the country and to make them self-financing in order to reduce the requirement to subsidise them through King’s Lynn’s special expenses.”