Allotment holders losing the plot over rainfall and flooding
ALLOTMENT holders in Warwick are seeking compensation from their landlord after the recent bad weather has flooded their plots and destroyed their crops.
Half of the 86 plots at the allotments on the Percy Estate, which are owned by Warwick Town Council, have been affected by days of heavy rain and flooding at the nearby River Avon with one third of them being completely saturated and submerged.
Sylvia Murray, who represents plot holders at the site, said this was the worst flooding there for ten years and has contacted the council to see if it can offer any reduction to rent to cover loss of crops and make up for loss of access to their patches of land.
She said: “When it flooded in 2002 we had our rents reduced and this time it is even worse.
“I can’t get anywhere near part of my plot and a lot of my crops have been destroyed.
“I won’t be able to get anywhere near it for at least two months as the rain has nowhere to go.
“It is so saturated and there is more rain to come too.”
Annual rent at the allotments is £37 or £32 for senior citizens.
Tony Hemming, who has rented a plot at the site for four years, said he and other plot holders have already received a letter from the council asking them to pay their annual rent and informing them there would be no rebate despite the flooding.
Mr Hemming said: “I haven’t been down there since November because there is no point.
“I’m not sure anything can be done about the flooding. The Potterton’s car park used to flood but that has been built on and raised and the water now comes into the allotments and the more you build on a flood plane the worse it gets.
“I have more than one hobby to concentrate on but my partner and I enjoy going to the allotment and we now can’t go there at certain times to put certain crops in.
“It’s just one of those things. Everybody is in the same boat and we just have to let it dry out.”
Cllr Moira-Ann Grainger (Con, Warwick North), who is the chairman of Warwick Town Council’s allotment committee, said there had been discussions about a review of the rent which could be brought up a meeting in February or March but that there was not any way the council could fund compensation for the plot holders.
She added: “Whatever everyone feels that area is on a flood plane and it has been a wet year for people at other allotments as well and nobody has had a good crop.
“We have to be careful because everybody has had a bad growing season because of the bad weather and we have to be fair in how we look at it.
“It’s unfortunate because it is a very big area and we have been trying to do things up there including improving the road access but we only have limited funds to.”
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Weather for Leamington
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: West