Tenancy agreement to be redrafted ahead of Cranbrook first allotments opening

PUBLISHED: 17:15 24 October 2018

Allotments will soon be ready to use in Cranbrook. Photo: Getty Images

Allotments will soon be ready to use in Cranbrook. Photo: Getty Images

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Green-fingered residents could soon grow their own crops after Cranbrook Town Council approved a motion to take on 28 half-plot allotments.

Ray BloxhamRay Bloxham

At a meeting on Monday, members also agreed to redraft the tenancy agreement and separate it from the ‘little rules’ included in the document.

The issue was raised by Councillors Ray Bloxham and Barry Rogers, who voiced their concerns about the agreement.

Cllr Rogers said: “I have got many concerns about this document. I do not feel where have managed to be in a position to have this presented to the council at this point.”

Cllr Bloxham said he managed to draft down the seven-page tenancy agreement - which he likened to ‘War and Peace’ - to two pages. He said: “There are issues in it that need to be resolved. The agreement can be reworded in a much more user-friendly way.”

Cllr Bloxham said he was against several rules in the agreement, such as allowing a tenant to take on a second plot.

He added: “If someone else comes along as says ‘I want that plot’, we are taking that off them [original tenant] when they have invested in cultivating the plot. It is fundamentally wrong.”

Cllr Bloxham also said prospective tenants, under the current agreement, would have cough up £310 in one day – comprising a £250 security deposit and £5 a month to rent the allotment in a one-year lump sum.

He said: “It would be cheaper to go to Tesco and buy the produce.

“We need to split the tenancy agreement into one document that gives people the tenancy and another which has the rules of the allotments, which we can change.

“Hopefully, when an allotments association comes in and takes of the management of the plots, they can take it up themselves.”

The allotments are currently sites in a construction site, close to Cranbrook Education Campus, which is sealed off the public.

Homes under construction there are expected to be occupied next month, around the same time the council intends to take ownership of the allotments.

There are currently more than double the amount of people on the allotment waiting list than plots being offered in Cranbrook.

It was agreed that the council adopt the ownership of the allotments as soon as they are ready and when the developers confirm to the council that it will be safe to access the site, and the tenancy be redrafted and delegated to the town clerk.

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