Unrest over wait for city allotment plots

There is currently debate over the 185 person-strong waiting list for an allotment plot in Lincoln.

At present, the waiting list system for a space to grow vegetables, fruits or herbs works on a ‘first come first served’ basis. 

When an allotment becomes free, City of Lincoln Council contact the person who has been on the waiting list the longest.

That person then has three weeks to respond and if they do not respond, the next person on the list is contacted.

However, the current system is causing problems amongst those who have been waiting on the list for years.

Some even believe that after plots have been freed up, they are not maintained properly.

Claire Leivers, a previous plot owner and currently on the waiting list, said: “I have been on the waiting list for 4 years now, one week I was number 17, then number 9 in the list, then I would be number 14.

“It was completely different from week to week, month to month until I gave up ringing.

“I think they should let the allotments be self-managed and the council have no say in it at because they clearly can not do it.

“When I was offered a plot 4 years ago it was badly overgrown and I was told it had been unused for 3 years.

“I clearly stated that I did not want my plot rotovated and spent over £40 getting weed control and tools then spent two days spraying.

“The next day I went to check the site and the Council had rotovated the site merely causing more problems for me.

“They took me off the list 6 months ago for reasons unknown to me, then offered me a 1/2 plot on Saturday at Sincil Bank, but when I went to check it, it is more like a 1/4 overgrown and weedy plot and the gate was locked so I couldn’t check it anyway”

“There are so many empty plots and something really needs done about it.”

The City of Lincoln Council currently manages more than 900 plots spread across the 18 sites within the City.

Steve Bird, Head of Community Services, Leisure and Sport at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “We would like to reassure all those who have an interest in allotments that we are doing all we can to try to let plots.

“We review this list routinely to make sure that the people on the list are genuinely interested in taking on a plot.

“Everyone on the waiting list should keep an eye out for us contacting them, and respond.

“If anyone has put their name on a waiting list and no longer wants an allotment, then we could as them to contact us to remove it.

“The delay in the system, and the lack of responses are extremely frustrating for staff, and we share the frustration of other allotment holders who sometimes see plots standing vacant for longer periods than we would like.

“We would like to improve the way allotment plots are let, and we’re currently discussing this with representatives from North Lincoln Horticultural Society, the largest Allotment Holders Association in the city.”