Woodbridge allotment holders' anger at being council eviction notice
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Allotment holders have accused a council of treating them "totally unreasonably" after they were only given a year’s notice to leave their plots.
The plot holders at Kingston Fields in Woodbridge received letters from the town council informing them that their tenancy will end on March 31, 2023.
Roger Bridgeman, one of the tenants, said he was particularly annoyed that so little notice had been provided after many people had spent a lot of time and effort cultivating once derelict land.
He also believes the council should have put more effort into securing new sites for allotments and that the reason the Kingston Fields tenants were being evicted was to make way for people on the council’s allotment waiting list.
Plans to give new allotment holders a tenancy limited to five years were also slammed on the basis that tenants needed more time to make their land productive.
Mr Bridgeman said: “It just reeks of an overbearing, thoughtless attitude on the part of the town council. It is totally unreasonable, it is upsetting and it is going to cause division between people who have got an allotment and people who think they need an allotment.”
He said the tenants were now considering legal action and were consulting with the National Allotment Society, which represents the interests of allotment holders.
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The holders met with town councillor Eamonn O’Nolan on Monday to discuss the situation, but Mr Bridgeman said little progress was made.
Woodbridge Mayor Sue Bale said Woodbridge only had a few allotments compared to other towns and a growing waiting list of potential tenants.
“The council has been seeking extra land in and around Woodbridge for some years with no success, so unless there are landowners out there who are prepared to let or sell some potential allotment land to the town council, we have to look for other solutions.
“A range of options are being considered, including the creation of a community garden in Kingston Field,” she added.
She said a time-limited tenancy would give more people the chance to grow their own produce and lead to shorter waiting times.