Norwich allotments thrown open to out-of-city growers
Allotments in Norwich are to be offered to people living outside the city's boundary - but the opportunity to take on a plot will come at an extra cost.
Norwich City Council says that, far from the perception that there are lengthy waiting lists for allotment plots, there are some sites where land is available to take on immediately.
There are short waiting lists at 11 of the council's 18 allotment sites, but the authority has decided to throw open the application process to those who do not live within the city.
People who live in Norwich will still get a subsidised rate of £38.75 for a standard plot, whereas people from beyond the boundaries will have to pay £10 extra - an annual rate of £48.75.
The council says the application process will be open to out-of-city residents until there is a change in the demand for plots.
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Should a waiting list exceed one applicant for every five available plots, then the waiting list may be closed to out-of-city residents.
Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for parks, markets and open spaces said: 'Tending to an allotment is an excellent way to grow your own produce and spend time out in the open, on your own or with the family, which is why it is such a popular hobby.
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'Autumn is a great time of year to start cultivating in readiness for the spring, and we are pleased to be able to extend the invitation to apply for a plot to even more green-fingered enthusiasts.'
Allotments recently made national headlines when celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock caused a storm when she suggested allotments should be split up to allow more people to have allotments.
She told Amateur Gardening magazine: 'A lot of plots are way too big for the average couple and if you halved them and halved them again, that would be more practical for many people,'
The National Allotment Society described her suggestion as 'plain poppycock', saying trying to cultivate such small plots would find it 'improbable if not impossible' to 'grow a variety of produce in useful quantities and still leave room for a few fruit bushes'.
For more information about allotments – including which facilities each site has, which plots are available, and how many other people are waiting – or to apply online, visit https://allotments.norwich.gov.uk/allotments.aspx
• What do you think of the allotment application process being opened up to people from outside Norwich? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.