Scarborough Council approves expansion of town's allotment sites as hundreds stuck on waiting lists

Scarborough Council is set to create two new allotment sites in the town after the authority unanimously approved an expansion to community growing space.

By George Buksmann
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:27 pm
Demand for allotments in Scarborough is on the rise. Sandybed allotments, pictured above, are not maintained by Scarborough Council.
Demand for allotments in Scarborough is on the rise. Sandybed allotments, pictured above, are not maintained by Scarborough Council.

An allotment site at Prospect Mount is set to be re-established after the site was transferred to an allotment association under leasing arrangements.

Work to bring the site into use is expected to cost £50,000 to clear the area and install fencing, gates and a water supply.

A new community growing space at Dunn Grove in Eastfield is also set to be established as part of the expansion.

Cllr Tony Randerson, who presented the report as part of his neighbourhoods portfolio, said: "This report is extremely welcome in my view. The take-up for allotment provision is very high with many more residents wishing to have a plot than there is currently provision for."

The borough council currently operates allotment sites at Woodlands and Quarry Mount with 97 available plots.

The cabinet meeting last week heard that waiting lists are currently oversubscribed in the region of 150-250 people; the new provision aims to tackle the backlog.

Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons said: "The provision of allotments and the expansion of the provision of allotments is really important. Personally, I would be very supportive of that."

In a report prepared for the cabinet by the council's officers, it said a review was carried out by the Lives and Homes Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July last year, as until that point, the current provision of allotments in Scarborough had not been reviewed for more than 10 years.

The review found that demand for allotment space is increasing and this has been heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.

It also said social, mental health and environmental benefits of growing food in allotments are well-documented.

It was also noted that the borough council, in absence of a town council, has a statutory duty to supply sufficient allotment sites for residents where they are of the opinion that there is a demand for allotments in their area.

The meeting heard that boundary hedgerows will be maintained and smaller size allotment plots allocated as part of the re-established site to protect wildlife.