A Suffolk council is still trying to find new land to address a shortage of allotment plots nearly a year after tenants were controversially told they were going to be evicted from their site.

Woodbridge Town Council is still searching for plots in the riverside town 10 months after tenants at Kingston Fields were handed eviction notices to free-up plots for other people to have a chance to grow their own.

The eviction notices were subsequently withdrawn following impassioned pleas from the existing allotment holders that they be allowed to stay.

Had the eviction proceeded, the tenants would have had to leave Kingston Fields by the end of March.

The notices to leave had been issued in an attempt to address a growing waiting list for plots and a lack of available land within the town, with the council unable to find additional sites.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Woodbridge allotment holders successfully fought plans to evict them from their plots at Kingston FieldsThe Woodbridge allotment holders successfully fought plans to evict them from their plots at Kingston Fields (Image: Charlotte Bond)

However, on Tuesday Woodbridge Mayor Patrick Gillard revealed that the waiting time for prospective tenants had been reduced from nine years to five years, as some of the plot holders at Kingston Fields had offered to share their land with those on the waiting list.

He said some of the holders were giving as much as half their site to the new tenants.
Mr Gillard said the council was looking to find alternative sites within Woodbridge, rather than looking further afield.

He said: “As far as I know, we have not been successful yet in getting new land. We are definitely trying to increase the amount of allotment space that we have got and we are still actively looking.

“We have not yet found land, but we have got some potential developments. We are still actively looking, we have not given up on local allotments. We are still trying to find places that we can use for that purpose because there is a big demand.”

Negotiations were taking place for potential new sites, he added.

In March, the town had 19 allotments for 4,500 households when the national recommendation was for 100 plots per 4,500 households.