A new plan to make the most of the borough’s allotments has been given the green light this week.
As part of The Deal, Wigan Council’s cabinet today (Thursday) approved a new approach which will see the council work in partnership with communities so more residents have access to allotments and can enjoy the benefit they have in local neighbourhoods.
This will be done through a number of ways including transferring allotments to groups through community asset transfer, so they can involve residents in planting and growing, and taking a flexible approach to managing them so more people can access a plot.
This strategy also aims to tackle allotment misuse, where people are neglecting or have abandoned their allotment.
It is estimated there are currently more than 150,000 hours spent on the 615 allotment plots across the borough each year.
The council currently provides 311 ‘statutory’ allotment plots, which are protected by law, and 244 temporary or ‘non-statutory’ sites.
There is flexibility on the non-statutory sites for them to be opened up to the whole community.
There is currently a 4 to 7 year wait for an allotment and this approach would mean there are options for people on that waiting list to share or get access to a plot much earlier.
The council will be working with community groups and the voluntary sector to support them taking ownership of an allotment and help them provide activities or opportunities for local residents to get involved.
Many of the allotments are also currently not accessible so it is also hoped groups will be able to look at making them accessible for the whole community with new paths and raised beds for planting.