AN ALLOTMENT price hike is to be phased over a five-year period in a bid to make it easier for those struggling to pay, the Glasgow Times can reveal.

The cost will shoot up from less than £35 to £170, however, a plan to offer a phased increase has now showcased a phased payment approach for those using the allotments across the city.

As previously revealed by the Glasgow Times, the council’s controversial decision to raise prices by around 500% sparked outrage among plot holders.

Users of the award-winning Growchapel in Drumchapel, which was developed as a method for tackling anti-social behaviour and mental health problems in the area, told how they relied on the plots to grow food to keep their weekly shop bills down in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis.

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In a bid to ease the financial burden, Glasgow City Council has rolled out a phased increase over the next five years.

This year, prices will rise from £34.50 per year for a full plot to £61.60; from £25 to £42.80 for a concession full plot; £17.25 to £30.80 for a half plot; and £12.50 for a half plot concession.

In 2025/26, the cost will rise again to £88.70 for a full plot; £60.60 for a concession full plot; £44.35 for a half plot; and £34.70 for a half plot concession.

Prices will continue to rise annually until 2028/29, when the final cost will reach £170 for a full plot; £114 for a full plot concession; £85 half plot and £68 for a half plot concession.

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The council said it was also looking at ways to assist plot holders with the changes, including offers of tonnes of free topsoil, while concessions are also available for pensioners, students and those receiving benefits.

A spokesperson said: “The implementation of the changes to allotment fees will not begin until 24/25 and will now be phased in over a five-year period.

“We are also looking at plot holders being able to pay their fee across the year, rather than in one sum.

“Over 40% of plot holders currently receive a concessionary rate and concessions will remain in place under this phased approach.

“We are also making thousands of tonnes of topsoil available free of charge, which will be of significant value to plot holders.

“The full annual fee equals a cost of 47p per day and in our view, this still represents good value for those committed to growing in Glasgow.”

The move will bring Glasgow City Council in line with other local authorities across the country, however, it’s mindful of the of the implications a rise could bring on those who use the sites and is looking into offering pay-up processes to allow the plot holders to spread the payments.

The spokesperson added: “Fees have not been increased for 14 years and the increase will bring us in line with the fees paid by allotment holders in other comparable local authorities.

“An increase in revenue will also help make our allotment service financially sustainable with any surplus being reinvested in the service.

“We have written to allotment associations and plot holders to advise them of how the increase to fees will phased in from 2024/25 and we will further consult with them later this year.”