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New Brighton and Hove allotment plots are hacked in half
Allotment holders are upset about plots being cut in half.
Brighton and Hove City Council is offering new allotment holders plots that are half the size of earlier ones.
The council says the 125 square metre sites – known as five rod sites – are “perfect for modern allotment growers” and a “manageable size less likely to generate enforcement notices than larger plots”.
However, allotment campaigners fear the smaller plots will cut the space dedicated to vegetable growing and threaten the city’s biodiversity.
Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation is currently in negotiations with Brighton and Hove City Council to draw up a new allotment strategy.
The strategy aims to increase the amount of high quality food grown on allotments, increase the number of people enjoying allotments and “ensure that the allotment sites conserve, protect and promote the biodiversity of the city”.
Damaging allotment life
Allotment holder Gary Johnson has set up a petition calling for the council to postpone cutting the size of plots until after the strategy has been finalised.
Mr Johnson, who has a plot at the Whitehawk Hill allotment site, said: “Myself and many others feel that the current plot chopping is damaging to allotment life, as having more plots in the same area increases the amount of cars brought onto sites, creating more disturbance to allotment holders and wildlife, increasing the chance of plot holders and their children being potentially run over, and also more plots means there is less land left fallow and less land left undisturbed for wildlife.
“Both the allotment federation and the city’s site reps have asked that new plot holders have a choice on what size plot they can choose, either five or ten rod, although this is being denied.
“Many feel the chopping needs to be halted immediately, because if the council agrees to rent ten rod plots again after the strategy has been decided, plots that are being halved now would be almost impossible to reunite.”
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “While we allow people with 10 rod plots to continue, we are not offering them as new lets.
“Five rod plots are now our standard but that policy is not new. This is helping us meet the huge demand for plots.
“Smaller plots are also popular with people who cannot manage a big plot.
“Wildlife value is important but not the reason for bigger plots. We do want to see higher levels of cultivation and feel that is more likely with smaller plots.”
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