Allotment Price Increase 2021
Why have the allotment prices gone up so much?
Like the majority of local authorities up and down the country, the financial impact of Covid-19 has created difficulties, and we are reviewing fees and charges across all services.
Allotments is one of our services that has always been heavily subsidised, and we felt it fairest to look at charges for services that do not benefit all residents.
Since the allotment administration was returned to the council in December 2019, we have had to invest in an upgrade to the software used. We are currently recruiting for a dedicated Allotment Support Officer, and this has incurred additional costs for the management of our allotments.
It is broadly recognised that the allotments, and plot holders, benefit from a much higher level of support and on-site provision than many of our Hertfordshire neighbours. Stevenage sites benefit from:
- secure boundaries
- good water supply throughout the sites
- toilet facilities at many sites
- car parking at the majority of sites.
We do appreciate that this is a significant increase in rents. Despite this, the allotments remain a largely affordable past time – a full size plot (250m2) will cost less than £3 per week.
Is there a discount available?
A 25% discount is available for those in receipt of means tested benefits.
If your rent invoice does not state whether a concessionary rate has been applied and you are on benefits, please let us know. You will be required to provide evidence of your benefit receipt.
Can I pay in instalments?
You may be able to pay in instalments, but the full amount must be settled by the 26 March 2021.
We will liaise with our digital provider to consider if we might offer the opportunity to pay in instalments in future.
I need to give up some / my entire plot; what do I need to do?
If you are giving up your plot entirely please let us know in writing. We will then write to confirm receipt of your request. You will be given 14 days to clear the plot so that it is ready for someone else to take it on. If the council has to undertake any clearance work you will be recharged the costs, in accordance with the Allotment Agreement 4.4.
If you want to work a smaller plot we will need to review the provision within your current site. Sometimes it might be possible to split your existing plot, but usually we will offer an existing smaller plot on site.
When do I need to pay by?
Payment is required within 40 days of the issue of the invoice. The date will be given on the invoice. Failure to pay on time, risks the termination of your agreement.
Can I go back on the waiting list / come off the waiting list?
Yes – please let contact us to let us know what you would like to do.
Are the prices going to go up again next year too?
All fees and charges are approved by Council towards the end of each year. At this stage we cannot anticipate next year’s allotment rent prices.
Why didn’t we get any notice of the price increase?
Fees and charges were agreed by Council at the end of January. We circulated a newsletter and posters to site notice boards in December to advise of the changes to invoicing in 2021.
How do you calculate your rent charges?
Our charges are based on the area of land which you rent from us. We have a record of the size of your plot measured in square metres.
I’m really unhappy with the rent increases what can I do?
The rents have been formally approved by the Council, and cannot be changed.
The Council has a formal complaints procedure. A complaint can be made when:
- we have failed to do something we should have done;
- we have done something badly or in the wrong way; and
- you feel that you have been treated unfairly or discourteously.
If you wish to make a complaint about any council service you can do so. Please see our Compliments and Complaints page for further information.