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Old March 17th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #21
North Star
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Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
I must admit I'm not a fan of allotments. To me they seem to be outdated and were only around when people didn't have gardens, most people do now.
Erm, without wishing to start a row I'd suggest that in many of the places we're thinking of - inner city Newcastle, for example - there are plenty of people without gardens.

A quick trawl of census data shows that in 2001 there were 52,162 people in Newcastle living in flats, 25,530 in North Tyneside, 22,753 in Gateshead, and 20,354 in South Tyneside (source: www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk).

That's 121,000 people, or 1 person in 6 across Tyneside (1 in 5 in Newcastle itself), the vast majority of whom won't have access to a garden. Add in people in houses with yards, which aren't much use at all for growing stuff, and you can see why there's still the need for allotments. Bad news if someone's burning their rubbish the day you've got your bedsheets out on the line, mind.

Having finished my statistical battering, incidentally, I understand that councils actually have an obligation under various Acts of Parliament going back to 190-something to provide sufficient land to meet the demand for allotments. They're certainly not doing it round where I live - waiting lists stretch to infinity and beyond...
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Old March 18th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #22
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As far as I'm aware, the allotments near to where I live have a rule that you can only have fires during a few months around winter. It wouldn't surprise me if that's a Newcastle-wide rule.

Anyway, I've been doing a bit of asking around and apparently the council(lors) have had a bit of a turn-around in recent months regarding allotments (so credit where credit's due). There's a pretty wide-ranging survey currently being carried out to try to find any suitable bits of land within the city that could be used as allotments and there's a genuine wish to provide more of them, especially in places where there is high demand or a lack of provision. I'm sure it'll be a long process, but it's promising news all the same.

It's pretty doubtful any of them will be appearing on any area of the Town Moor though. I'm guessing that the Freemen, obviously with the good of the people of Newcastle in mind, have dug their heels in.

As for the look of allotments, I really like them. There's something incredibly interesting about how spaces evolve when people have a bit of freedom with how they use the limited materials they have to hand. Plus they're so beautiful when everything is out in leaf during the summer. Obviously though this is primarily in allotments where the plots are well used and well maintained.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 01:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Star View Post
Having finished my statistical battering, incidentally, I understand that councils actually have an obligation under various Acts of Parliament going back to 190-something to provide sufficient land to meet the demand for allotments. They're certainly not doing it round where I live - waiting lists stretch to infinity and beyond...
That's what I was linking back to a few posts ago - there's a form that you can send to your local council, with six signatures on it (although the more the better), that compels the council to address your need for an allotment by either finding you one or creating one. If you want to do so, just cut and paste the text at the bottom of this post into Word (turning the name, address etc stuff at the bottom into a table with at least six rows below for each person's details, even if just with a pen and a ruler), print it off, fill it in with the names, signatures, addresses etc of people who would like an allotment, then send it off.

If you live in Newcastle, you need to send it to (I think):

The Allotment Officer
Parks and Countryside
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE99 1RD

If you're from another council area, simply find out the address of your allotments officer and replace the word "Newcastle" with the name of your council.

Even if you're not sure whether you want one, by sending in the form you'd make sure that if/when you do want one there'll be more plots available.


-----------------


Newcastle Allotment Petition

We wish to become allotment holders but are aware that that there are little or no vacancies for allotments in Newcastle.

Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 describes the duty of councils and parishes to provide a sufficient number of allotments and describes the duty of councils and parishes to take proceedings to provide allotments on representation in writing of any six registered parliamentary electors resident in the borough or parish.

Being resident in Newcastle we, the undersigned, wish to petition the Council for the immediate provision of sufficient allotments under Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act of 1908 and specifically that sufficient allotments be provided within one mile of the residences of the petitioners who have signed below.

- - -Name - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Address - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Signature - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Date

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.

Last edited by AngerOfTheNorth; March 18th, 2010 at 01:54 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #24
Geordie Ahmed
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Any idea how much an allotment costs ? (im asking purely for curiosity sake)
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Old March 18th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geordie Ahmed View Post
Any idea how much an allotment costs?
It's £33 a year here in Liverpool, plus any site-specific charges for water/management etc., and I imagine it's fairly similar elsewhere. I'm not an expert though, as I said above you can't get close to getting one round where I live...
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Old March 18th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #26
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It's about £30 for a plot per year up here... Obviously therefore a half plot is roughly £15. Cheap as chips and will save you much more than that amount per year, plus all the fresh air, exercise etc you could ask for.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngerOfTheNorth View Post
It's about £30 for a plot per year up here... Obviously therefore a half plot is roughly £15. Cheap as chips and will save you much more than that amount per year, plus all the fresh air, exercise etc you could ask for.
Thats not bad like
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Old March 19th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngerOfTheNorth View Post
It's about £30 for a plot per year up here... Obviously therefore a half plot is roughly £15. Cheap as chips and will save you much more than that amount per year, plus all the fresh air, exercise etc you could ask for.
Absolute bargain! No wonder the waiting list is long.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #29
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Worth putting your name down for, even if you will have to wait - there's a link on the council website.

You could also fill one of those forms out and send it in, it'd certainly help motivate the council.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #30
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Long delays as allotments get more popular
Apr 5 2010 by Amy Hunt, Evening Chronicle



TIME was when they were essential parts of nation’s larder, doing nothing more than providing fresh fruit and veg for the kitchen table.

But TV series’ from The Good Life to Monty Don’s gardening shows have made allotments trendy in the suburbs.

Instead of leeks and spuds, you’re more likely to find rocket and cherry tomatoes being grown on the today’s allotments.

And that means thousand of people in the North East are waiting for allotments, it has been revealed.

Across the region’s seven councils 6,696 are on lists hoping to get a plot and demand has risen sharply over the last few years.

But in 2009 no new sites were brought into use for allotments or gardening. People face a potential wait of more than five years for a plot.

Allotment groups say maintaining a plot is good for health, good for the environment as it allows people to grow their food locally and good for forging communities as people make friends on their allotments.

Having more green spaces in cities also provides a haven for wildlife to thrive.

We have seen figures from all councils, released under the Freedom of Information Act.

In Newcastle there are 766 people waiting for allotment plots. The council manages 62 sites in the city which have a total of 2,316 plots. Many are let as half plots. One site, St Anthony’s in Walker, is closed to new applications.

In recent years hundreds of plots at Fenham Allotments, Grandstand Road and Castle Leazes have been axed as the Freemen of the City ordered the land to be returned for grazing, though the city council has no powers to stop this. Peter Whewell, chairman of Moorside Allotments in Fenham, presented a petition to Newcastle City Council in November asking officers to find more land to be used as allotments and community gardens. He is now working with the council on its allotment strategy.

At Moorside there are 30 people on the waiting list, meaning a wait of about five years for an allotment. Less than 10 years ago there were vacancies.

About 25% of allotment holders in Newcastle are over-65, but there is an ever-growing new breed of younger gardeners and families getting involved in growing their own.

And in a survey done recently by the city’s Allotment Working Group, 16% of residents interviewed said they would be interested in having an allotment, although at the moment there are only seven plots for every thousand people in the city.

David Slater, Executive Director of Environment and Regeneration at Newcastle City Council said, “The City Council actively supports allotment associations and wants to make further allotment places available to residents. We are currently looking at a number of specific sites so residents can see the many benefits of growing their own produce.”

In North Tyneside there are more people waiting for an allotment than there are plots. Across the 46 council-run sites there are 1,205 plots, but there are 1,922 on waiting lists.

The council says it is aware of the problem and is working hard, through its allotment strategy, to find innovative solutions.

In Gateshead there are 388 people on waiting lists for the 395 council-controlled allotments in the borough.

Gateshead Council head of waste services and grounds maintenance Colin Huntington said: “The rise in popularity of self sufficiency and growing food after much high profile media coverage has seen a massive increase of interest in allotments in Gateshead. Just a few years ago we had spare allotment sites, now we have a waiting list.

“Gateshead Council is in the process of carrying out a full review of allotment provision and as part of that process we’re looking at whether we can create new allotments to help meet the current demand.”
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Old April 5th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #31
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It's pretty obvious that there's a serious shortage of allotments. I know the council can't sign over valuable lumps of land, but if there's any spare bits of land that can be converted to allotments it'd definitely help waiting lists. Allotments hit so many targets that the council have - health, community, sustainability.

Anyway, hopefully the current survey/review will result in some new sites.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post

...

In recent years hundreds of plots at Fenham Allotments, Grandstand Road and Castle Leazes have been axed as the Freemen of the City ordered the land to be returned for grazing, though the city council has no powers to stop this. Peter Whewell, chairman of Moorside Allotments in Fenham, presented a petition to Newcastle City Council in November asking officers to find more land to be used as allotments and community gardens. He is now working with the council on its allotment strategy.

...
I don't really understand the deal with the Freemen, who exactly are they and why do they have so much power over so much of the city's land? Is it healthy to have so much power in the hands of what appear to be a small non-democratically elected elite?
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to me it sounds like a feudal system, not part of a 21st century democracy.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #33
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I don't really understand the deal with the Freemen, who exactly are they and why do they have so much power over so much of the city's land? Is it healthy to have so much power in the hands of what appear to be a small non-democratically elected elite?
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to me it sounds like a feudal system, not part of a 21st century democracy.

Quite a lot of information about 'The Freemen' has been periodically posted on our "Town Moor" thread.

However, the below link (from our own Websites Listings thread) is actually a direct link to their own website . . .

http://www.freemenofnewcastle.org/

You should be able to find out all you need to know from there!
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Old April 6th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #34
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In short, they're a law unto themselves, so I doubt they'll give up that power any time soon!
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Old April 15th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #35
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Jesmond Allotments, June 2009.



This excellent photo of the allotments at Jesmond, was taken by Beth, of the "Newcastle Daily Photo" and "Geordiewatcher's Photostream" Websites, last summer.

Both of the above are listed in Section 9 of the "Websites" thread.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #36
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Plot thickens in row over Newcastle
graves and allotments

Apr 15 2010 by Amy Hunt, Evening Chronicle



ALLOTMENT holders fear they could be turfed off their land to make way for more graves in a cemetery.

Newcastle City Council is planning to extend West Road Cemetery on to Denton Bank Allotments.

Plot holders and the site’s allotment association say 15 years ago, when the plans were first mooted, they were promised they would be moved to a new site across the road before the extension started.

But they are now concerned council officers will not commit to creating new allotments on the site of the disused Reedsmouth Nursery, which could accommodate the tenants of all 100 plots.

Large waiting lists at allotments around the city also make it unlikely they would be able to secure a plot elsewhere, they say.

Newcastle has a total of 2,316 plots, with a waiting list of 766.

Don Wright, 72, treasurer of the Denton Bank Allotment Association, said: “The council promised to move us, now I believe they have reneged on that promise.

“Many of our plot-holders are elderly, though we have more younger people coming in now.

“A lot of them have been there for more than 20 years and they’ve done a lot of hard work on their plots.

“They feel the council made a promise which they believed and now that promise has become a maybe. In 2000 you couldn’t give allotments away, now everyone wants one.

“It would be very difficult to find 100 gardens at the moment because there are waiting lists everywhere.”

Council officers say discussions about relocating the gardeners are still taking place.

Rob Nichols, the city council’s head of environmental services, said: “Officers of the council are working with representatives of Denton Bank allotments regarding the need to expand the West Road Cemetery.

“These discussions are now focusing on providing alternative future growing space for the current allotment holders. As a consequence of a recent site visit, officers are now assessing the full financial and logistical consequences of securing this. Further discussions will take place with allotment holders.”

The council says it plans to take over the allotment site in 2013.

In 2000 the city council removed 19 plots from Denton Bank to extend the cemetery.

Discussions with the allotment association started in 1995, at which point proposals to extend the cemetery included keeping an allotment with about 120 plots and proposed a transfer to the Reedsmouth Nursery site..

But the time frame for the extension has been gradually pushed back.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #37
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Good grief - land's for the living. Put all cemetery expansion on the outskirts of the city, if we have to have them.

As for the allotments, if the existing plots are lost the least that should happen is for them to be relocated. With a few extra plots I'd hope.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #38
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Peter Barratt's Garden Centre eases
Newcastle allotments shortage

Apr 19 2010 by Tony Henderson, The Journal



A GARDEN centre has stepped in to ease the shortage of allotment plots on Tyneside.

Demand for allotments is booming with more than 6,500 in the region on waiting lists.

Now Peter Barratt’s Gosforth Park Garden Centre, which is located on the east side of Newcastle Racecourse, in North Newcastle, has created 104 “Grow Your Own” plots.

They will be launched on Friday by North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley and sheriff of Newcastle Brenda Hindmarsh.

Paul Barker, garden centre general manager, said: “The plots are being rented out to gardeners wishing to grow their own food.

“We’re meeting a real demand for plots from people in the community and we’re offering them the chance to grow their own with a little help from us.”

Each plot will be approximately 90 square metres.

A basic plot, which will cost £5 per week, will include access to a water trough.

Alternatively, people can have a site that includes a greenhouse, shed, and a water butt, for £10 per week.

The garden centre anticipates that half of the plots will have a greenhouse and shed but these can be provided for any site.

The whole site is rabbit-proofed and benefits from all the facilities available at the garden centre, including toilets and the restaurant. A starter kit will include a selection of free seeds, information pamphlets on what to grow when and a copy of a 1940s Ministry of Agriculture Dig For Victory leaflet as well as a complimentary hessian bag.

There will also be a voucher for money off tools, which can be redeemed at the garden centre.

Paul said: “We have already raised awareness of the plots with our customers and have been asking people to complete a form to register their interest.

“We intend to assign a plot to a group of less able gardeners as the site has disabled access. We’re also using another plot as a demonstration vegetable patch and have one plot left for a community group to use for free.”

People can register interest on 0191 236 7111 or by picking up an application form at the garden centre.

Once people have harvested their produce, the garden centre aims to create a market place for any surplus crops.

The plots are being rented out to gardeners wishing to grow their own food
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Old April 19th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #39
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£5 per week?! This is hardly a long term option is it..?
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:16 PM   #40
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That's the ultimate in the commodification of nature!
We put plants in the ground to reap benefits over the seasons and years ahead. Not days and weeks.

Of course, Peter Barratts are at liberty to sell their tat in their (so-called) "garden centre", to give customers something they can enjoy immediately after parting with money, but they cannot change the laws of nature!
Plants deliver their rewards very slowly!

But what I find really sad about this story isn't their attempt to throw another short-term gratification into customers' shopping trolleys before they check-out and pay, (and then forget about their committment when something more attractive becomes available), its the fact that we don't have arable land available for those of us who'd genuinely like to nurture plants. Over sustained periods of time. (Which leads me on to my secret life planting and tending plants in public spaces. You won't tell anyone, will you?)
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