The father and son who are glamping up the allotment world in Bishop's Stortford
Luxury allotments may soon be available on the outskirts of Bishop's Stortford.
PoshLots, which is advertised on its website as an “exclusive community of private allotments based in the Essex and Hertfordshire area”, is currently awaiting planning permission from East Herts Council.
Owner and director Tony Devlin, 50, hopes that the 60 bespoke plots will be available at Jobbers Wood, off the B1004 Great Hadham Road, from next spring.
Tony and his son Ben, 26, will be running the business. They are passionate about the benefits that PoshLots will have for its members.
“Primarily, what we’re trying to do is build a community,” Tony said. “We’re quite social people, and we always thought it would be a really good idea if you had an allotment to talk to other people, learn about growing and what’s best.”
Tony, an interior designer from Cressing in Essex, has a pension fund and decided to buy something with it, rather than going down the more traditional route of investing it in stocks and shares.
“I looked into it and found I could buy a piece of land that you don’t want to be building on, it’s just agricultural land, and I just thought ‘Well, why don’t I look into just turning it into allotments?’”
While neither Tony nor Ben have kept allotments before, their interest in fresh produce was sparked after Ben started growing his own vegetables from the balcony on his flat.
Tony said: “We thought instead of just your regular allotments, why don’t we do something for people who are maybe mid to high wealth but live in flats or apartments, who don’t really have big gardens but are really into growing their own healthy vegetables, or buying organic vegetables.”
Tony decided on Stortford as the place to launch PoshLots as the land at Jobbers Wood, next to the Bishop’s Stortford High School’s sports pitches, fitted the bill. The 10-acre site comprises four acres of pasture and six of woodland.
“This piece of land is unique in the fact that it’s got a nice-sized piece of pasture land; old agricultural land combined with the woodlands,” he said. “As soon as I saw it I loved it.”
PoshLots members’ plots will be serviced with water, solar power and are maintained. “We’ll have an individual on site that’s there to manage the whole common parts,” Tony said. “They’ll provide advice to people who haven’t grown before, and if you go on holiday, you can have somebody tend your plot while you’re away.”
Tony plans to develop a common welfare area, complete with growing tents, environmental toilets and a log cabin. They also plan to build a wooden play area and establish nature trails throughout the woodlands. “Effectively you can come here and have the whole day here with your family,” Tony said.
Would-be PoshLots members can register their interest online via the website poshlots.uk, where they can specify whether they would prefer a gold, silver or bronze plot.
All plots will be fully ploughed and harrowed, ready for growing. Each will have a surrounding post-and-rail fence and gated access. Growers will have free access to a rotavator and other essential allotment tools, as well as communal facilities.
To read the full feature, see this week’s edition of the Stortford Independent.