Angry allotment holders have accused bosses at Norwich City Council of trying to introduce “draconian” rules on how they can tend their plots.

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Members of the Norwich Allotments Association say a controversial consultation over changes to the regulations surrounding allotments should be started from scratch.

Rules proposed include preventing allotment holders from using their plots after dark from April until November and a rule that tenants who the council has “reasonable grounds” to believe have been undertaking criminal activity on an allotment site – supported with information from the police – will have their tenancy ended.

But Martha Goddard, from the Norwich Allotments Association, said there were a “remarkable” number of restrictions proposed.

She said the consultation, which closes this Friday, was flawed. The Norwich Allotments Association wants it to be run again, with a public meeting to discuss the proposals.

She said: “They are much more draconian than the current rules. There would be the possibility of losing your tenancy because you are merely suspected of committing a crime on the allotments.”

However, the city council said that was not the case and that it would require supporting evidence from the police – or actual conviction –before tenancies were ended.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “We appreciate the interest our tenants have taken in the recent consultation and feel we have taken the necessary measures to engage with all of them. This process was also extended by a month to allow another chance for those interested in commenting to get in touch with their response.

“All comments received will be reviewed and, in light of these, any appropriate amendments to the rules made. The council sees the site allotment associations and the Norwich Allotment Association as integral to the development of the service and, as such, we are committed to work with all representatives to build a positive framework to ensure the service provided continues to improve.”

Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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