Fringe Box



Issues Mean Aldershot Road Allotments Still Unoccupied

Published on: 17 Jun, 2023
Updated on: 20 Jun, 2023

By Hugh Coakley

With a reported 413 people on the waiting list for an allotment in Guildford, both Guildford Borough Council and the Guildford Allotments Society (GAS) have reacted to the complaint that the new plots at the Woodside Road/Aldershot Road site have been left empty for months.

The new plots at the Aldershot Road (Woodside Road) allotments have not been occupied since they were said to have been ready in April 2023. Photo taken July 13.

The council and GAS say legal issues being “finalised” but statements from them indicate there was some way to go before the situation is resolved with problems such as water-logging still being “investigated”. The council had previously said the plots would be ready in April 2023.

Allotment tenant Mary Lawrence thought the delay was “disgraceful”, saying “with the growing season well on its way there has been a lost opportunity to get started”. Mrs Lawrence had written to The Dragon with a plea for GBC and GAS to “resolve the impasse”.

Unoccupied new allotments at the Aldershot Road site looking overgrown on July 13.

GAS chair Philippa Wright said she had met with the tenants and Guildford’s MP, Angela Richardson, to review the position.

Philippa Wright chair of Guildford Allotments

She said the new lease for the allotments was nearly agreed but the problem was the allotments provided by the council were not to the agreed specification with no agreement yet for a resolution on all the plots.

She said: “Responsibility for the three sites provided remain with GBC as the legal position has still to be finalised. The wording of the leases has been agreed but copies for engrossment are still awaited.

“Empty plots are in the process of being offered to those on the waiting list. However, many of the plots cannot yet be let due to issues with individual plots. These are being investigated so suitable solutions can be found before those plots can be let.”

George Potter

The council’s lead for planning, environment and climate change, George Potter (Lib Dem, Burpham) said they were temporarily managing the Aldershot Road allotment until the lease was finalised when it would be handed over to GAS.

He added: “The allotments at Woodside Road and North Moors (Slyfield) were created to provide space for people moving from Bellfields. Earlier in the year we helped those tenants who wished to move, transfer to these sites. As a result of our investment in the new allotments, extra plots are also available for new tenants. This will help to reduce the waiting list held by GAS.

“While we’re finalising the agreements, we’ve agreed that GAS can send referrals to GBC to issue new plots. A few plots had some waterlogging at the beginning of the year. These plots have been kept vacant, so we can determine if we need to carry out more drainage work. This will avoid disrupting a tenant if work is needed.”

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *