Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hundreds in queue for allotments

An allotment holder at work
Extra plots are needed in the Redcar and Guisborough areas

Hundreds of would-be gardeners on Teesside are queuing up for a council allotment.

The majority of Redcar and Cleveland Council's 800 plots have been taken, and there are 525 residents on the waiting list.

Although 25 places are vacant, they are in unpopular areas.

The council said it was trying to resolve the problem, but most of its allotment budget was spent on security measures such as gates and fencing.

Councillor Sylvia Szintai, cabinet member for the environment, said: "There are places in Mushroom Grove, Grangetown, which used to be very popular, but things change and we have to change with it.

"But trying to get extra allotments in Redcar and Guisborough, where people want them, is extremely difficult.

"We're looking to bring them back in an area of Normanby, where there used to be allotments. But it's a difficult one."

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