ALLOTMENT holders in Kendal will pay more for their plots from next year.

Town councillors voted for a five per cent rent increase when they met tonight because of rising repair and labour costs.

An annual minimum rent of £26 will also be payable from 2012 to cover admin costs.

Tenants used to pay £26 but some were only being charged £15 because rents for 2011 have been based on plots’ square metre measurement, instead of ratings of small, medium or large as was previously the case.

The increase was imposed because the current income being gleaned was considered ‘unsustainable’ in terms of administration.

Town clerk, Liz Richardson, reported that income in 2011 was £19,000 – around 95 per cent of the £20,000 budget.

Former Kendal Mayor and chairman of the council’s allotments committee, John Veevers, said the council was faced with ‘serious cost increases’.

He added: “Effectively, it’s not an increase to us, we are just trying to catch up with the ground we have lost.”

There are currently 138 people on an allotment waiting list in the town, even after the allocation of 56 plots since the start of the year.

Coun Veevers said that although the council had not yet identified any new sites, it was looking to.