by Sian Napier
Allotment holders in Whitstable say they are dismayed at rent rises for their plots which are going up from £52 last year to £104 from October 1 this year.
Many of the allotments in the town are rented out by Canterbury council which increased the charges as part of its 2011-12 budget.
Myfanwy Williams, who rents a half plot from the council at Whitstable’s Millstrood Road allotments, said that they were supposed to be accessible to all, regardless of income.
“This seems to be a bit of a hefty increase,” she said. “They are meant to be dirt cheap and this is quite a big rise. I wonder what effect it will have on pensioners, many of whom rent allotments.
“The rise won’t put me off having one but it is another increase on top of all the other rises people are facing and it is hard for people on fixed incomes. It is the usual beef about rises but we do feel a little hard done by.”
Rob Davies, from Canterbury council, said the rises were agreed as part of its budget and the new rate would come into effect on October 1.
“The charge for a full plot will be £104 a year which works out at £2 a week,” he said.
“However, many people have a half plot which will be £1 a week and we still believe that this is excellent value for money. The charges also include water rates which are quite high now so we believe that they are still set at an affordable price. Some councils in Kent do charge less rent but do not include water charges.”