Campaigners for more allotments in Andover are hoping that their campaign will soon be at an end following a year-long campaign.

Michael Parker, alongside other members of the Andover Allotment Group, have been campaigning for more allotments, especially in the north of the town where there are “very few allotment plots.”

Town councillors are set to receive a report at the allotment committee meeting on Monday, December 14, which states that work will commence on an application for funds to purchase an additional allotment site in the north of Andover.

The leader of the campaigners, Michael Parker, says that the group wants “to consider all options” for a new site, and appealed to local landowners to help, saying that “finding the land is now [the group’s] biggest problem.”

For Michael, allotments have always been a part of his life, when he started growing strawberries on his father’s allotment at the age of 15, before getting his own at the age of 20.

“After that, I took on an allotment wherever I moved and over the past thirty years, I have never been without one – that is, until I moved to Andover. There weren’t any in my area!”

Romans Ward, where Michael lives, has “none at all.”

As a result, Michael found fellow campaigners such as Vicki Cunningham and Graham Clarke, who joined him in his campaign to improve residents’ access to allotment space.

Vicki said: “I have a small raised bed area in my garden but am limited for space and can't grow as much as I would like. It would be amazing to have my own plot and to be able to grow a larger selection of fruit, veg and flowers. There's nothing better than being in the fresh air with likeminded people too. Having a community area will mean that knowledge and the joy of growing your own can be shared with anyone who is interested. I can't wait!”

As a result, Michael set up the allotments group on Facebook, which now has 130 members. Supporters also began contacting the town council regarding new allotments. The group would like to see new allotments and community gardens set up across Andover, which they hope will be accessible to wheelchairs.

They initially found success at the town council, with the allotments committee unanimously approving a motion to set up a waiting list for allotments in the north of Andover, with officers to put together a case for funding from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies.

A further motion to put the council’s underspend of £50,000 towards the cost of a new site was rejected at a meeting of the policy & resources committee in October, however, and the campaigners also found that their proposed community gardens require planning consent.

Borough Councillor Nick Matthews has suggested a joint meeting to assess how both the town and borough council could work with campaigners to map out the next steps.

He said: “If there is a ward benefit, and the proposal is feasible and community beneficial, I will be delighted to support and endorse it with additional community grant.”

Town councillor David Coole has also suggested that should the town council approve a business case for the allotments, the authority’s property purchase fund and other CIL monies could be used to purchase land.

The report on new allotments in Andover will be received by Andover Town Council’s allotment committee on Monday, December 14, at 6pm.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Andover Allotments Group should join their Facebook group or email