Big Increase Planned in Allotment Rental Charge
Annual fee to rise by 69% and concessionary rates restricted
A report recommending significant increases in the fees paid by allotment holders in the borough of Hounslow is to be decided on before the end of the year.
If approved it will see an increase of 69% from £71 per annum to £120 plus greater restrictions on the number of over 65s who qualify for a discretionary rate.
The borough has 29 allotments managed by Lampton Greenspace 360 Ltd with around 2000 plots and considerable waiting lists. Interest in allotments has grown since the Covid-19 outbreak with residents looking to increase the amount of time they spend outdoors.
The report which is to be considered by Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, states that the overall vision for allotments is to “maximise their value for health and well-being, stronger communities, biodiversity and sustainable living”
She is due to make a decision on the matter on Christmas Eve, and if this is not called in by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the recommendations will come into effect on 13 January 2021.
The report says that a benchmarking exercise was carried out to evaluate fees and charges in other London boroughs and that currently Hounslow was the 9th cheapest out of 21 with an annual charge of £71 and below the average of £120. Boroughs with cheaper rates often do not provide water or toilet facilities to their sites.
Under the new proposals the separate water fee would be abolished and the new annual rate would be £120 or £90 for sites with no water provision such as Saxon Avenue and Manor Garden.
An out of borough allotment holder fee of £250pa is to be introduced and concessionary rates for the over 65s would be means tested with any allotment holder to provide evidence that people are receiving benefits.
A year’s notice is required for any increase in fees above the rate of inflation so the allotment holders will receive notification of the increase with the invoice for October charges.
December 18, 2020