Allot of bother: Allotment waiting lists up to four years

IT’S not easy being green, and certainly not in parts of Comet country in any case, as those on the waiting list for an allotment could be waiting for up to four years.

The waiting list for a North Herts District Council owned allotment in Hitchin averages 32 months - nearly three years.

And if you fancy getting a plot in Ransoms, Nightingale Road, you face more than a four year wait. Even the site with the least waiting time - Burford Way - is 18 months.

NHDC’s two Baldock allotments - Clothall Road and North Road - have waiting times of 15 months and three months respectively.

Letchworth GC waiting times are considerably less - two of the council-owned allotments - Norton and Woolgrove - are available now, with a further five averaging a four month wait.

“The waiting times for allotments do vary within the district, and the demand in Hitchin is greater than the space we have available in the town for new plots,” said Cllr Ian Knighton, NHDC’s portfolio holder for leisure.

“The longest waiting times are for sites that cannot be expanded and those specifically requesting plots on these sites are aware of the timescales involved.

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“In the last two or three years we have increased our plot capacity in North Herts by about 30 per cent and brought waiting lists down to their lowest for five years. In Hitchin, we expect the listed waiting times to fall further in 2012.”

There are also lengthy waits for a Stevenage allotment. Stevenage Borough Council’s (SBC) 15 sites are all currently full.

Although SBC could not provide waiting times, it produced figures which shows how many people are waiting for each individual site.

The one with the longest list is in Martins Wood, with 54 people currently waiting for a plot, with Hertford Road attracting interest from 53 people.

The Muntings, Ashdown Road and Monkswood all have the smallest waiting lists, with six, nine and 13 people respectively.

A spokesman said: “Waiting times vary by site and it’s not possible to predict how long each wait will be as we do not know when plots will be vacated and turnover varies from site to site.”

• Have you been waiting an unusually long time for a plot to become available? If so, email editorial@thecomet.net