Seeds of success - a good time to apply for an allotment in Exeter
When this content has been updated
Published on 27 September 2016
Now is a good time to apply for an allotment in Exeter, the City Council has said.
Waiting times for allotments in Exeter are at their lowest levels for many years and plots are becoming available at sites across the city.
Since the City Council changed the way it manages allotments more people than ever have been able to enjoy tending to their own plot.
The number of people waiting for an allotment in Exeter reduced from 804 in the summer of 2015 to just 131 in February. The reduction has been down to a quicker turnaround of vacant sites and the dividing up of plots to make them more manageable for first-time growers.
The situation has also been helped by the Council forging close links with allotment associations, who have been able to take over the role of inspecting and letting the plots. Because they are often on site, they have a better idea of when a plot becomes vacant. This allows them to let the Council know as soon as a plot becomes vacant rather than let it stand for weeks or even months and becoming overgrown and weed infested.
Cllr Rob Hannaford, Lead Councillor for Place, said it was wonderful to see more and more people taking on an allotment and the waiting list dramatically reduced.
“Because of the close relationship with allotment associations, we are able to quickly get a vacant plot tidied up and back in use again," he said.
For their efforts, allotment associations receive a £10 administration fee each time a new tenant takes on an allotment. The income helps the associations provide extra facilities like on-site notice boards.
"Previously, people may have been put off putting themselves on the waiting list because of the long waiting times, but now areas on the west side of the River Exe are down to around a six month wait and those in Topsham and Stoke Hill are just over a year, " said Cllr Hannaford.
In St Thomas there is currently a vacancy for a wheelchair accessible plot.
People can apply for an allotment online at www.exeter.gov.uk/allotments People can specify an area of their choice or opt for anywhere in the city. For more information contact 01392 265409. The City Council has a total of 1,550 plots spread over 26 sites across Exeter.