More than 30,000 gardeners are on allotment waiting lists in London
More than 30,000 gardeners are on allotment waiting lists in London – with hopefuls being told it could take up to 15 years for a plot
Aspiring gardeners in the capital could wait up to 15 years to get their own space to grow, data has revealed.
At least 30,500 Londoners have been placed on waiting lists for gardening space with the average wait time being five years, The Evening Standard reported.
But in Islington, which only has 106 available plots for its 17,000 garden-less households, residents could wait 15 years for an allotment.
Sixteen London boroughs currently have closed allotment applications, the data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request by Greenpeace, has revealed.
And even residents who managed to submit applications are still unlikely to have their own growing space soon. For example, those who applied in Newham, Richmond, Lewisham or Harrow are on waiting lists of over 3,000 people.
At least 30,500 Londoners have been placed on waiting lists for gardening space with the average wait time being five years, a Freedom of Information Request by Greenpeace has revealed (stock photo)
Sixteen London boroughs currently have closed allotment applications (stock photo)
All residents have the ‘legal right’ to request an allotment, which studies have found improve mental health and increase the likelihood that someone will eat the recommended five-a-day.
Councils are also ‘legally obliged’ to provide a ‘sufficient number’ of plots to the community, allotment historian JC Niala told the newspaper.
Section 23 of the Allotment Acts states that if a group of six households write to their local council to apply for an allotment, the ‘council are obliged to find you space to grow’.
While it may not be possible to find space for plots in central London, campaigners argue many boroughs have enough green space to meet demand – it may just be being utilised in a different way, like a public golf course.
Some residents have turned to private allotment associations to scratch their gardening itch, but these projects tend to be pricier.
For example, one company rents a 12 square metre patch of land for £109 per year. A traditionally sized council allotment would cost about £90 for 10 times more space.
MailOnline has approached Greenpeace for comment.
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