Most sought-after allotment plots

Residents in some parts of Walsall face a frustrating wait to get coveted allotment plots, figures have revealed.

A map of allotment plots, availability and waiting lists. PIC: Walsall Council
A map of allotment plots, availability and waiting lists. PIC: Walsall Council

Walsall Council has produced a map of the borough highlighting the total number of plots at each allotment, vacancies and the number of people waiting for one to become available.

And it shows how demand across the borough far outweighs supply, as more people turn to the ‘Good Life’ way of living – particularly during lockdown.

Across the 34 allotment sites – which have a total of 1,352 plots – there are 252 residents on waiting lists. In some cases, people are having to wait between five to 10 years to be get on site.

Borneo Street, in St Matthews ward, has the largest waiting list with 30 hoping for one of the 40 plots to become vacant.

The Sutton Road facility is also proving to be popular with 25 people having to bide their time waiting for one of the 83 plots to become available.

Short Heath has two small allotments in Queens Lea and Dovedale Avenue with a total of 27 plots. But there are 35 people keen to get on to the two sites.

The best hope for people to secure an allotment plot in Walsall appears to be Broadway, where there are 16 spaces out of 73 available.

The issue will be discussed at a full council meeting on Monday and follows a decision taken last month where the authority’s cabinet agreed £260,000 on boundary improvement works to increase security at 21 of the authority’s 34 allotments.

Bosses also hope this investment into improvements will encourage more allotment associations to sign leases to take over the management of the sites and bid for more external funding in future.

It was also agreed to sell the derelict Alexandra Road allotment site which has become uncultivated and a dumping ground. Cash will be ploughed back into the service.

A report to council said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a surge in demand for plots. There are currently 252 people on site waiting lists and this has just exacerbated a known problem.

“In some areas of the borough, full allotment sites report that people can expect to wait between five and 10 years for a plot.”

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