Jersey landowners asked to lease land for allotments

Image caption There are currently about 600 people on a waiting list for an allotment in Jersey

Landowners in Jersey are being asked to consider giving up some of their land for allotments.

The environment department says it could benefit landowners as rental income from allotments can exceed that from agricultural use.

The Jersey Allotment Association says there are currently about 600 people waiting for a plot.

Jeff Hathaway from the association said there was a lot of available land, but getting permission could be tough.

He said there were currently 114 official plots in the island but many more were needed.

"We have a lot of available land but we need to come to an arrangement with the private landowner to make it available for a reasonable amount of time.

"Getting it for that time at a reasonable rent can be a sticking point," Mr Hathaway told BBC News.

Image caption Allotments can not occupy prime agricultural or commercially valuable farming land.

The States has no authority to force landowners to hand over land for allotments, but Ian Norris from the environment department says there are benefits.

He said: "If you've got a piece of land with good access and a water supply and it is not going to impact to much on neighbours you are probably going to realise more rent income from an allotment than you are letting it for agriculture.

"Agricultural rents vary from nought to £300 per vergee."

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