It has been suggested that plotholders were silly to fear a 400% increase in rents. Unfortunately that is just about what happened at Eaton Lands allotments in nearby Hythe, where in 2012 the following was the state of play, as seen amongst the comments on blog 'Allotment Garden':
"Christopher Attwood @ 10:37 am Allotment holder
Eaton Lands Allotment
We have just been sent our annual fee for our allotment. Last year we paid £42.00 for an 8.55 perch allotment area. The fee this year has risen to £85.00, over 100%.
Four years ago we were paying £22.00 and in 2010 it rose to £42.00. Almost another 100% The whole thing has become a joke and the local council are exploiting the situation with impunity.
What was once an enjoyable and affordable occupation is now turning into a worrisome expense."
A rise from £22 per plot to £85 per plot over four years is by any standards a serious hike in rents, even though the Eaton Lands rents were lower to start with. It is examples like this, which many allotmenteers know about from their personal contacts, which made the survey so worrying.
Canterbury City Coucncil also doubled rents then doubled them again between 2010 and 2012. (article in Kent and Sussex Courier)
It is a great relief to hear that the council has no intention of recommending a similar rise, and is apparently looking at net rents paid across the county rather then percentage price rises elsewhere.
High rents have been quoted by some allotmenteers in other areas, but these gardeners usually enjoy facilities like toilets, free manure supply - sand too in at least one instance, a communal building - and even the free use of tools. It's important to compare like with like - other sites are very cheap but have no water supply.