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Hyndburn allotment holders face 10 per cent rise in rents
PRICES at allotments in Hyndburn are set to increase by nearly 10 per cent – nine months after the first increase in seven years.
Almost 40 per cent of the 919 allotment users in the borough will face an average price hike of £4.98 from January 2015, if the council votes for the increase at a meeting today.
But the council’s allotment charges will remain 47 per cent below the national average, a council cabinet report said.
The report, which was due to go before the cabinet this afternoon, said: “The allotment regeneration programme has, over a number of years, achieved a dramatic improvement in the condition of the sites, making them more suitable for the needs of everyone in our communities.
“This has also increased the number of lettable spaces from around 600 in 2008 to 919 in 2013.”
Portfolio holder for parks and open spaces, Coun Ciaran Wells, said: “The increase is to keep up with general costs.
“We were getting slated in 2011 after a proposed big increase, but we changed the approach once we started working with the tenants.
“Allotments are popular because of the quality of the produce and as a leisure activity.
“We consulted with the Hyndburn Federation of Allotments (HFA) and they understood.”
The report said the organisation recognised ‘that allotment rents have remained static for a substantial period of time, and that the cost of running the service has increased’.
Cath Holmes, from the HFA, said: “[Allotment users] are getting a better service since Ian Marfleet was appointed as the allotments officer. He has got on top of waiting lists and has tackled issues.
“Compared to other local authorities, Hyndburn is still a lot cheaper.”
If agreed, the increase will come a year after the council backtracked on plans to implement a 100 per cent rise for plot rents.
The council has spent £100,000 on allotments in Hyndburn, with half of that figure coming from external funding sources, and nearly 85 per cent of allotment users said they were happy with the service, in a survey carried out earlier this year.
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