Two-tier allotment rents will remain beyond 2015

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Allotment rents in Bury St Edmunds will no longer become standardised by 2015.

Currently, allotment tenants on Bury Town Council-owned land, of which there are 262 plots, pay less than those renting any of the 38 plots in Cotton Lane, for which the town council has to pay rent to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

In an effort to standardise its rents, from 2010-2013 the town council increased rents on its 262 plots by £4.60 per year for a five square rod plot, whilst rents on the 38 plots remained frozen.

Had the town council-owned plots continued to increase by £4.60 per year, all of its tenants would have been paying the same rent by 2015, namely £46 per year.

At last week’s annual town meeting, Cllr David Nettleton took issue with the council’s decision earlier this year to increase rents on its 262 plots by just 95p. This was based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for September 2012.

Cllr Nettleton said it was wrong to think most allotment holders were on a low income and that he thought £46 a year was a reasonable sum to request from all tenants.

He added: “Some people are paying more for the same service and I don’t think that’s right.”

Cllr Bob Cockle said: “Because everybody’s feeling the economic squeeze, the town council has to bear in mind what people’s feelings are.”

All of the council’s 300 plots are currently let, with 38 people on its waiting list.