Action promised over 'abandoned' allotments in Chingford

Allotment holder's Patricia and John Richards meet with Iain Duncan-Smith at Hawkwood

Allotment holder's Patricia and John Richards meet with Iain Duncan-Smith at Hawkwood

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Efforts are being made to find tenants for “abandoned” allotments, it is claimed.

Hawkwood Allotment site in Drysdale Avenue, Chingford, has not been entirely rented out for 30 years and is now half of its plots are available, despite a waiting list of 460 in Waltham Forest.

Allotment holders Patricia and John Richards, both 75, of Mark Avenue in Chingford, claim the land and pathways are not maintained and the plots are not being properly advertised.

But Waltham Forest Council claim the allotments are difficult to rent out because of the site’s layout and accessibility, with vehicles unable to make deliveries or clear the land. 

In response to the claims, Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy council leader and cabinet member for environment, said: "We have been trying to fill the Hawkwood site for considerable time, and earlier this year offered the vacant plots to people on our allotment waiting list.

"After several people turned the site down, we re-opened the list and are now contacting the 460 residents on it to offer them a plot. 

"Following a visit to the site last year, I can see the huge potential in Hawkwood and hope that the current allotment holders will elect a volunteer site secretary, as we have at other sites, which can help us act swiftly by telling us when issues arise and plots become vacant or are not kept."

The council said plots at the site had been turned down by people on the waiting list.

After visiting the site earlier this month, MP Iain Duncan Smith said he was concerned at the state of the site and called for action.

Comments (7)

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2:07pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Go42 says...

Good that Clyde is on the case, if anybody can find a solution, he will! The other issue for me is the number of people from outside the borough who are allotment tenants in Waltham Forest. An audit would be a way forward. My view is that any out of borough person should be given notice to quit!
Good that Clyde is on the case, if anybody can find a solution, he will! The other issue for me is the number of people from outside the borough who are allotment tenants in Waltham Forest. An audit would be a way forward. My view is that any out of borough person should be given notice to quit! Go42
  • Score: -6

3:29pm Tue 12 Aug 14

ViewpointE4 says...

I wouldn't hold my breath on Clyde Loakes finding the solution, after all this allotment is based in North Chingford, an area that LBWF is not particularly concerned about other than collecting council tax and business rates.
I wouldn't hold my breath on Clyde Loakes finding the solution, after all this allotment is based in North Chingford, an area that LBWF is not particularly concerned about other than collecting council tax and business rates. ViewpointE4
  • Score: 3

5:36pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

Shame, people like growing their own fruit and veg.

Some have their produce as offerings for a modest some with the odd tin of paint or a bicycle part at the heavily subsidised Hornbeam Cafe where you can have a lovely cup of organic tea or coffee and a slab of cake.

They use to have a great chef there, with long auburn hair who use to ride furiously home on his bicycle after a hard days work. He use to produce the most amazing salads.
Shame, people like growing their own fruit and veg. Some have their produce as offerings for a modest some with the odd tin of paint or a bicycle part at the heavily subsidised Hornbeam Cafe where you can have a lovely cup of organic tea or coffee and a slab of cake. They use to have a great chef there, with long auburn hair who use to ride furiously home on his bicycle after a hard days work. He use to produce the most amazing salads. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

11:27pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Johnbold says...

Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them.
Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them. Johnbold
  • Score: 6

10:23am Wed 13 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

Johnbold wrote:
Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them.
Yes, they will have a mysterious 'consultation process' which nobody will know about and the results will be that 'feedback was negative' and they will take steps to do away with them.
[quote][p][bold]Johnbold[/bold] wrote: Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them.[/p][/quote]Yes, they will have a mysterious 'consultation process' which nobody will know about and the results will be that 'feedback was negative' and they will take steps to do away with them. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

12:06pm Thu 14 Aug 14

everoptimistic says...

Johnbold wrote:
Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them.
Is this the Kings Road Leytonstone Allotments? I was told that it was pointless putting my name down on the list as there were so many waiting. Are there really empty plots?
[quote][p][bold]Johnbold[/bold] wrote: Kings Road allotments are exactly the same. Lots of plots empty, long waiting lists and a reluctance to release them. Applicants are unable to contact allotment officer to be considered for a place. I have a plot but I wonder if the motive of the council is to allow the allotments to fall into disuse to justify building on them.[/p][/quote]Is this the Kings Road Leytonstone Allotments? I was told that it was pointless putting my name down on the list as there were so many waiting. Are there really empty plots? everoptimistic
  • Score: 1

12:09pm Thu 14 Aug 14

everoptimistic says...

I also agree with Johnbold that allotments may be seen as nice building plots. Perhaps the borough would like to advertise the empty allotments in their free magazine, which should reach every household, including details of how we can register for one.
I also agree with Johnbold that allotments may be seen as nice building plots. Perhaps the borough would like to advertise the empty allotments in their free magazine, which should reach every household, including details of how we can register for one. everoptimistic
  • Score: 1

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