Empty allotments in Sutton despite waiting list

Allotment gardens off Stoneyford Road, Sutton, which gardeners say are being neglected by Ashfield District Council.
Allotment gardens off Stoneyford Road, Sutton, which gardeners say are being neglected by Ashfield District Council.

Allotment holders in Sutton have hit out at Ashfield District Council for failing to maintain their site properly or find tenants for empty plots.

Gardeners who have allotments off Stoneyford Road say that empty plots have not been maintained and are covered in weeds several feet high.

Robert Allard (22) has an allotment with his two younger brothers and has asked to take on one of the vacant plots - but has been told they cannot because there is a waiting list.

Meanwhile he said that one elderly allotment holder is being threatened with eviction for ‘non-cultivation’ because he is currently not growing anything after being injured in a fall in the winter.

“They want to take it off him but there’s tonnes of empty ones,” Robert said.

“We rang them up in February time to ask to take one over and they said there’s a massive waiting list and they were going to make their way down it.”

There are currently about eight empty plots on the site and many have had waste dumped on them. There is also an inadequate water supply because it is shared with the neighbouring Carsic allotments, while the paths around the site have become overgrown after the council stopped cutting the grass.

“We would like to see people on here.” said Robert.

“They are not showing anybody round, then when I ring up to ask, they say there’s a waiting list.”

A spokesman for Ashfield District Council said: “There are currently four plots available on the Stoneyford Road site with a waiting list of 23 applicants.

“The available plots are free of fly tipping and ready to let. Officers are taking steps to fill these remaining plots fairly by working through the waiting list.”

Officers are working with allotment holders over non-cultivation of plots and also pledged to investigate issues of water supply, he added.