HUNDREDS of people are on the waiting list for allotments in Flintshire, with some facing a 10-year wait.

Popularity for allotments has soared in recent years resulting in a massive shortage across the county.

Flintshire Council manages seven sites and a total of 65 plots, but a Freedom of Information request published on reveals there are 153 people on the council’s waiting list alone.

The situation is most serious in Broughton where potential applicants face a 10-year wait.

There are 31 plots on the Mold Road site, which is run by the community council, but there are 50 people on the waiting list.

Alec Hughes, chairman of the Broughton, Bretton and Area Allotment Association, said: “We have had to close the waiting list. We probably let about three to five a year and they only become available when people move on or give up because they are moving out of the area.”

In Connah’s Quay there are 25 people on the waiting list for the 20 plots on Mill Lane.

Town clerk Ian Jones said: “We had quite an extensive list for some time, but we have had a little movement recently and have managed to allocate a few this year, but there’s still quite a waiting list.”

The economic climate and the popularity of organic and home grown produce has led to the boom in interest for allotments.

Saltney Mayor Veronica Gay said: “I think they are becoming a lot more popular.

People use them not only for the fact they can grow their own and save money, but also for the social aspect.”

The 20 plots in Saltney’s Victoria Road allotments opened last year, but there is currently only one person on the waiting list.

Saltney Allotments chairman Rod Walker said: “We have never had a fantastic waiting list, but maybe that’s because people don’t know much about us because we are new.”

And its not just the retired who are clambering to get their hands on an allotment.

“There’s a lot of young couples with young children,” added Rod. “I think they are thinking about the food mileage much more and what food has been sprayed with.”

Flintshire Council has not created any new plots in recent years, however planning permission is currently being sought by a private applicant to create allotment space at Kelsterton Hall in Connah’s Quay.

Saltney Town Council is also exploring the possibility of utilising the land at the top of Sandy Lane for allotment provision.

- CLWYD Alyn Housing Association has recently renovated an allotment site as part of the new community garden project off Bridge View, Garden City.

Neil Moffatt, Clwyd Alyn’s director of housing services, said: “While Clwyd Alyn tenants have the first option to take up the allotments, we will be making any spare allotments available to the general public too.”

Anyone interested should phone Louise Blackwell, community development officer on 01745 536913.