Allotment holders' 'delight' as council rescinds eviction notices

The allotment holders at Kingston Fields will now be able to keep their plots

The allotment holders at Kingston Fields will now be able to keep their plots - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Delighted allotment holders are no longer facing eviction from their plots after a council scrapped plans to end their tenancies in a year’s time. 

Woodbridge town councillors unanimously agreed to withdraw eviction notices at an extraordinary meeting after hearing impassioned pleas to stay from current tenants at Kingston Fields in Woodbridge. 

The notices to leave by March 31, 2023, 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. 

The allotments at Kingston Fields in Woodbridge

The allotments at Kingston Fields in Woodbridge - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Allotment holder Roger Bridgeman, who attended Thursday’s meeting, said: “It is absolutely fantastic. The town council rescinded the eviction notices.  

“There were lots of impassioned speeches from allotment holders and also, perhaps surprisingly, some people who were on the waiting list, but did not want to take plots from people who had been evicted in this manner.” 

He said the decision to rescind the evictions had been unanimously agreed by councillors present at the meeting and thanked the Mayor Sue Bale and the council for being prepared to listen to the allotment holders’ concerns. 

In particular, they believed the council had not put enough effort into securing alternative sites, while plans to offer a five-year tenancy were also slammed on the basis that it was insufficient time to make the land productive. 

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The council will now be setting up a working party to look for new land and Mr Bridgeman suggested there were a couple of vacant sites close that could be used, including Houchell’s Meadow and a section of land close to the former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices in Melton Hill. 

He added current plot holders at Kingston Fields could be open to the idea of splitting their sites with other tenants. 

Woodbridge Mayor Sue Bale

Woodbridge Mayor Sue Bale - Credit: JEREMY BALE

In a statement from the council, Ms Bale said the town only had 19 allotments for approximately 4,500 households when the national recommendation is 100 plots for 4,500 households. 

She added: “Rather than accept the status quo, this council wants to find solutions and we will work with all interested parties over coming months to achieve an outcome which works for all.”