Dec 20, 2011: Researchers from the University of Leicester have found that the average cost of an allotment has soared by a fifth in the past three years.

Rent varies hugely across the country, from 55p a year per square metre – the most expensive – in Runnymede, Surrey, to just a penny per square metre in Bolsover, Derbyshire. On average, a plot measures 250 per square metre and the annual rent is 15p per sq m.The researchers studied 216 councils across England. Of those, 32 had closed their waiting lists entirely because of demand. Some people on waiting lists will have to wait up to 15 years for a plot. Since 2008, 60 councils had increased their rent by more than a fifth.

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