The cost of space at the ‘urban gardens’ in Reading are set to increase according to proposals drawn up by the council.

There are 20 allotment sites in Reading where people without gardens or enough space can grow plants and vegetables.

In April 2025, the council will make changes to allotment rent and discount levels, tenancy agreements and waste collection charges from allotments.

But prior to that, the council must hold a consultation with allotment holders and residents who are on the waiting list for an allotment plot.

Therefore, the council is seeking opinions on the proposed increase in rent charges, reductions to the level of discounts offered to qualifying residents, and encouraging plotholders to responsibly manage their waste.

The council has argued that the possible increase in revenue from these changes for better investment in site maintenance, tenancy management and to support the ongoing development of joint and society management of sites.

Plotholders and those on allotment waiting lists are being asked the following questions:

  • “Does your allotment plot give you good value for money now and how much does your allotment produce save you on your household food bills?”
  • “Which of the proposed allotment rent levels is most acceptable to you?”
  • “What types of people do you think should benefit from Discounts on their allotment rent?”
  • “What levels of Discount should we offer plotholders?”
  • “If your rent increased, do you still think your allotment plot offers you good value for money?”

The questions are being asked of the 1,200 plotholders and 900 neighbours on allotment plot waiting lists in Reading.

Demand for plots are high, with the longest waiting list being for the Caversham Court allotments, with 247 people being on the list at the last count in November 2022.

Applicants can wait years on end for a plot to be available, with the longest wait for a plot being six years and three months for the allotments at Oakley Road in Caversham.

The consultation on the changes closes on Saturday, December 16.

You can take part by filling out the online survey on the Consult Reading website.

One of the questions states that the standard rate for a 125-metre plot is £40.50 a year, which is drastically reduced to £3.50 if a tenant has a discretionary discount.

There are six allotment sites in Caversham, three sites in Southcote, three in Tilehurst, two in Whitley and one each in Katesgrove, Coley and East Reading.

The council also has the allotments in Church Road, Earley in its list, despite these plots being in Wokingham Borough.