Call made to hand over unused Bradford allotment places on Four Lane Ends site (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Call made to hand over unused Bradford allotment places on Four Lane Ends site
Abandoned allotment plots are turning into weed-infested eyesores and a Council crackdown on the problem is not working, it has been claimed.
An allotment association says nearly a quarter of its plots are still not being used, despite a growing waiting list.
In August, Bradford Council began a crackdown on people who did not look after their plots, in a bid to ease record waiting lists.
Tenants were told they should have three-quarters of their plot under cultivation at all times and anyone not abiding by the rules could have their plot taken away.
But this is not happening, according to David Priestley, chairman of Bullroyd Allotment Association.
He said at Bullroyd Allotments, off Allerton Road, Four Lane Ends, 19 of the 81 plots were not being used, while 31 people were on the waiting list.
He said: “There are at least three plots that haven’t been cultivated for three to four years.”
Mr Priestley, 71, said such plots soon became eyesores, and the weeds spread to the other allotments.
He said the Council’s crackdown did not seem to be working at all.
“They just seem to have abandoned it, or aren’t following their own policy,” he said.
Mr Priestley said some plots had been left because the tenants had fallen ill.
He said: “I have a lot of sympathy with these people but why not give the plot to somebody else?”
One local woman got so frustrated with the decline of the allotments, she contacted the Council back in March.
Rita Robertshaw, 65, of Dalecroft Rise, said she used to pass it on her way to work each day, and became more and more concerned at the state some plots were getting into.
She said: “I know there is a waiting list for allotments and it seems such a shame that there appears to be some available.”
Belinda Gaynor, the Council's operational estate manager, said: “We have carried out a programme of inspections and have written to tenants who have neglected their plots, asking them why this has happened.
“We invite them to give up their plots or if they want to keep them to cultivate the plot by a deadline.
“Termination notices are being issued to tenants of plots where we have in the past raised concerns about their condition and these plots will be offered to tenants on the waiting list.”