More than 100 new community allotment plots could be created across Southwark by next Spring.
Southwark Council launched its new ‘Allotment Expansion Guarantee’ on April 1, 2021, saying the scheme will help residents to create new community gardens on council owned land.
Each site will be run by a local group who will be responsible for maintaining the space, setting rents, allocating plots, and supporting individual plot holders.
Whereas existing, larger allotments have a specific planning status, the new informal plots will be managed by the council’s housing department as part of its flagship ‘Great Estates’ programme.
Ian Zanardelli, a resident who enjoys access to a community growing space at the Rockingham Estate, said: “Having access to a community allotment transforms your relationship with where you live.
“It gives you an opportunity to meet your neighbours and allows you to get in touch with nature. I would struggle to live a healthy, well-balanced inner-city life without it.”
Councillor Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for council housing, said: “I’m thrilled to launch this new initiative which will help to meet the enormous demand for food-growing plots in the borough.
“Gardening has huge benefits for physical and mental well-being and I’m delighted to be giving Southwark residents the opportunity to grow their own food and nurture a love of outdoor spaces.”