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Long wait for popular plots butmorethan200 vacant.

Byline: Neil Atkinson Head of News neil.atkinson@examiner.co.uk

HUNDREDS are locked on waiting lists for allotments in Huddersfield.

And the queue for some of the most popular plots have 50 people on them - meaning the wait time could run for at least 10 years.

But now campaigners are calling on councils to do more to ease the lists, by dividing allotments into smaller plots.

They claim long waiting lists are stopping families from going green and taking allotments on which to grow their own produce.

That's the opinion of an environmentally-conscious green fingered waste management company which says that many council and committee-run allotment spaces are literally a case of "dead man's shoes", where the same people hold a plot for years and decades at a time. On top of that, councils that are hard-pushed for budgets are tempted to sell off land for development, meaning there's ever decreasing space, the Big-Green.co.uk company says.

"The major problem is the lack of allotments for the folk who want to work them," says BigGreen.co.uk's Mark Hall.

"The solution is simple: the average 10 pole (about 250 square metre) allotment is a lot of work for the average family. Split them in two, and double the number of available plots.

"Perhaps split them into three or four to give families a taste of growing produce, but on a big enough plot to bring decent results."

BigGreen.co.uk spoke to councils across the UK to find out how long the waiting lists were for an allotment. The survey showed: The average waiting list for an allot-| ment was six years A significant number of councils had |waiting lists as high as 250 people, with waits of around nine years While the press made a big issue of |45-year waiting lists in 2009, there was no trace of any such figures now The longest wait one (unnamed) |council was prepared to admit was for 12 years In Kirklees, the council owns 1,951 |allotment plots located on about 100 sites across the district.

The typical cost of renting a plot is |about PS53.

A spokesman said: "The sites vary in popularity and each site has its own waiting list.

"There are 216 vacant plots on sites where there are no waiting lists and anyone who wants a plot at one of these sites will probably be able to rent one straight away.

"At more popular sites the waiting lists vary from one or two people to as many as 50 and that could mean a wait of 10 years.

"We find that easily accessed sites and well used sites are more appealing. "But, it's worth noting that all the sites have potential if people are willing to take them on."

CAPTION(S):

Just two of the allotments across the district - the plot at Taylor Hill Road, Taylor Hill, left, and the one at Meltham Road, Lockwood

100915BALLOTMENTS_01 100915BALLOTMENTS_05

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2015
Words:493
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