Ten-year waiting list for Sprowston allotments

Waiting lists for allotments have grown to 10 years following the blossoming interest in people looking to grow their own produce.

Mike Ellard, 61, moved to Sprowston from Gloucester in March and has been told he will have to wait 10 years as waiting lists for plots rise across the city.

The maintenance manager, who lives in St Margarets Close, said: 'I loved growing vegetables and things.

'In March I was 57th on the list and was told it would be a four-year wait but now they said there had been no movement and it would be about 10 years.'

Mr Ellard moved with his wife to live closer to his daughter and grandchildren.

He said: 'I used to do community gardening when I lived in Gloucester and I used to grow vegetables. Years ago nobody wanted allotments. Everybody wants to grow their own because they want to know where their vegetables are coming from. I would like to grow so I am self- sufficient throughout the summer. I used to grow lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beans, carrots and cauliflowers. I just love growing.'

Last year, allotment waiting lists across the country increased by 20pc as the gardening bug bloomed.

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A spokesman for Sprowston Parish Council, which manages the 92 allotments in Church Lane, said: 'We are short of allotment space.

'We have 92 allotments and a waiting list of about 60 people. The allotment year runs from October 1 until September 30 and we have just renewed.

'I think we have had about three people drop out, which is average. We don't have many people who give up their allotments during the year.

'We put the popularity of the allotments down to economic times and the number of gardening programmes and people wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.'

The cost of an allotment for a year in Church Lane is �29 with an additional �5.50 water charge.

Do you have a Sprowston community story for the Evening News? Contact local reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk