Price hike for Huntingdon’s allotments on cards

PLANS to offer new allotment plots for double the rent of existing ones could herald a price hike across all of Huntingdon’s plots.

A proposal to charge allotment holders �52 a year for a plot on undeveloped land at Sallowbush Road was recommended for approval by members of Huntingdon Town Council’s finance committee last month.

Currently plots at a neighbouring site at Redwongs Way are leased by the town council for �24 a year, as are other plots in Hartford Road, Primrose Lane and North Street.

Councillor Doug Adams defended the price rise, however, pointing out the one acre stretch of land next to Hotel Chocolat, would be worth a lot more if sold for commercial purposes.

He said: “Fifty-two pounds a year is an entrance fee for a premiere league football match.

“We are opening up this land for use as allotments at considerable cost to ourselves. We are going to have to put a fence around it and put infrastructure around there.

“It is an area which costs the council an arm and a leg, and we do not get much back from it. It is reasonable, what we are doing.”

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And councillors did not rule out raising prices across all of the town’s allotments.

Cllr Adams said: “We would say to the others, watch this space.”

The site has been derelict since it was taken out of use as an allotment area in 2007 to make way for a potential expansion of Hotel Chocolat. The company’s expansion plans, however, have since collapsed due to the economic downturn.

Hopes are to create 15 plots of 300 square yards at the site.