Town Mayor Ian Smith with Uckfield's top allotment gardeners including Ivor Wickens and Alan Stanesby (with shields)

Allotments waiting list in Uckfield drops

The waiting list for allotments in Uckfield has all but disappeared.

There are now only 16 people on the waiting list and some of these are people seeking a second plot while six wish for a plot on a specific site.

In 2009 reported there were more than 100 names on the waiting list.

The town council, which owns all but one of of the allotment sites in the town, has divided large plots in two to meet the demand and provide plots of a size that most people now wish to rent.The toal number of plots now stands at 219, up from 180.

At the annual allotment conference the council admitted some plots were still poorly utilised; a concern both to councillors, neighbouring plotholders and those still waiting to rent.

Cllr Mick Harker, who chaired the conference, said the council was loath to be draconian, especially where people had properly tended a site for many years but had run into difficulties because of temporary health issues, for example.

Cllr Harker said Uckfield rents were still the cheapest in the area. A site costing a rent of £17.50pa in Uckfield would cost £108pa in Crowborough.

He said the council was mulling charging new plotholders a deposit when they took over a site. The money could be an encouragement for people to keep the plot in good order and could be used if a site was left derelict and needing work by grounds-staff when the tenancy ended.

The conference was reminded that cockerels were not allowed on allotment sites and that the welfare of the hens was paramount.

Bonfires were permitted but they should be controlled and not left smouldering through the night. This could constitute a nuisance which Wealden District Council could investigate.

Parking, especially in the Framfield Road area near the hospital, has caused complaints to the council.

Allotment holders in this area have also complained that deer and badgers are damaging crops. Cllr Harker said the council would look at the matter but indicated it would be costly to fence sites. He advised it was an issue individual plotholders would have to manage themselves.

At the end of the conference, the annual allotment awards were presented by town mayor, Cllr Ian Smith.

Ivor Wickens (Framfield Road west) again took the prize for the best overall (large) allotment. Alan Stanesby (Framfield Road east, new) took the best overall award for small allotments.

Site winners:

BELL LANE: (large), Alan Huxley; small, Mr C. Coleman.

BIRD-IN-EYE: (large) Mrs S. Washington; small,Mrs R Woodhams.

FRAMFIELD ROAD (west): large – Ivor Wickens; small, Frank Phillips; FRAMFIELD ROAD (east, old): large, Mr P.J. Manning; small, Heather Berry; FRAMFIELD ROAD (east, new): large, no award; small, Alan Stanesby.

RIDGEWOOD (large): Mr M Cosham; small, Mrs N Phillips.

WEST PARK (large): Mr J. Atkin; small, Mrs C. Ellis.

See also:

All-weather sports pitch handover nears

UCTC re-dedicated on 60th anniversary

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