ALLOTMENT holders in Poole who have devoted years to their plots face having to give them up as part of a council shake-up.

With more than 900 people on the allotment waiting list, multiple plot owners will be asked to choose which one they want to keep.

They will then have to give up their other patches to help feed the growing demand for allotments.

Frank Court, chairman of the Alder Farm allotments, said: “People can spend about £200-£300 a year on their plots and these are just going to be passed on to someone else.

“The fear is people see gardening shows on TV and fancy a go, but then will give them up after a few months once they get bored.”

The council has offered multiple owners, many of whom have worked their land for decades, the olive branch of a year’s free rent on the plot they choose to keep. Cllr Neil Sorton, the council’s cabinet member for leisure, said he wanted to support both new growers and current plot holders.

“People are increasingly looking to grow their own food,” said Cllr Sorton.

“The new policy will help manage future allocation as fairly as possible and provide a commitment to help secure new plots to meet growing demand.”

The council owns eight allotment sites across Poole – from Lilliput to Hamworthy – with a total of 423 plots.

Although most people with multiple plots took them on when demand was low, the council said it now had to address the increased call for households to grow their own produce.

In another blow to current holders, rents will also be increased as part of the shake-up.

Other changes include dividing plots to increase the number available for new tenants and tightening up inspections.