A new allotment site is planned for Hereford to meet demand from residents.

The charity Hereford Allotments and Leisure Gardeners (HALGS) has applied for permission to turn a disused former play area between Ross Road and Belmont Road in the inner south of the city.

Its chairperson Pauline Shannon explained that while it already manages nine Herefordshire Council-owned allotment sites in the city, this will if approved be the group’s first on private land.

“There is so much demand,” she said. “People appreciated the mental health benefits during Covid, but the requirement hasn’t gone away since.”


The group “hope to fit in around 20 allotments, though we can tailor the size”, she explained. “People don’t necessarily want a full-size plot, especially if they are new to it.”

Entrance to the proposed site to the rear of the Boycott Road would be down a single-track next to the Ross Road health clinic.

“It hasn’t been used as a play area for some time, but teenagers have been hanging around,” Ms Shannon said.

The group has contacted the neighbouring properties, and so far “people are pleased that it will be put to use”, she added.

Comments on the application, numbered 231150, can be made until May 25. Those interested in an allotment can meanwhile register on the HALGS website.

Herefordshire Council like all local authorities is obliged to provide allotments for public use. But Ms Shannon said that with the ongoing squeeze on finances, “they shouldn’t be expected to do it all”.

A meeting in Hereford last week organised by local environmental groups called on county leaders to commit to creating five new allotment sites of at least 50 plots.


But Green Party leader in the county Ellie Chowns said this “is too specific, as we don’t know if we have so many suitable sites”.

Agreeing, council leader for the Independents for Herefordshire Coun David Hitchiner said the council “isn’t rich in land”, adding:” There is money from section 106 agreements [with developers], but no farmer is willing to transfer the land.”

Conservative councillor Elissa Swinglehurst suggested the council could “act as a broker” between those with unused gardens and those looking for land to grow on.

“That would give social and health benefits,” she said. “We have an enormous untapped reserve of [potential] allotments, overgrown and unloved.”