Wokingham's allotments a lost dream for out-of-townersBy Hugh Fort
January 27, 2009
A chance to live the good life has been snatched from people on an allotment waiting list in wokingham.
Wokingham Town Council has scrapped its allotment waiting list for those who do not live in the town because not one name has come close to getting a plot in nearly four years.
At a town council amenities committee meeting on Tuesday, January 6, councillors reluctantly decided to scrap the second list, which had 25 names on, as it was unfair to the people who were waiting.
Paul Smith, amenities officer for the town council, said: “We started the list for people outside the town council area in October 2005.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was phoned by someone who was on the list asking what was happening.
“I had to tell them they hadn’t moved in over three years.
“I think it is fair that we end the second list as the demand is such on the first list and that should be our priority.”
The town council will now write to everyone on that second list to inform them.
After the meeting, Mr Smith revealed the number of people on the first list changes from week to week but at present there are around 90 people waiting for one of the 248 allotment spaces.
He added the town council had contacted Wokingham Borough Council to ask if any more land could be turned into allotments.
The scrapping of the second list will particularly affect people living in Arborfield and Finchampstead, where there are no allotments at all.
Both Arborfield and Newland Parish Council and Finchampstead Parish Council are investigating possibilities at privately owned land in the two areas, but nothing has been decided.
Alison Ward, clerk of Arborfield and Newland Parish Council, said: “We have 30 people on a waiting list and one of our councillors has been investigating allotment space.
“We have two possible landowners who have come forward, but it is very early stages yet.”
Jane Holloway, clerk to Finchampstead Parish Council, added: “We have been searching for land for allotments in Finchampstead for years.
“At the moment, we are looking into one area of land.
“If that is successful, we then have to talk to the borough council about what sort of permission we would need.”