ANGRY Eastleigh allotment gardeners are staging a public meeting tonight over what is being described as a looming crisis over the allotments waiting list.

Eastleigh & Bishopstoke Allotments Co-operative Association chiefs say that there is a huge demand for plots while the council presses ahead with plans to replace vegetable patches with hundreds of homes.

The High Court blocked the association's path for a judicial review over Whitehall's backing of Eastleigh Council's decision to sell off two town centre sites for affordable homes.

Association chiefs claim that Eastleigh Council is reducing allotment provision despite its legal obligation to meet that demand.

Association secretary Tony Murrills said: "Most people on the waiting list do not know the true facts of the situation or what their rights are under allotments legislation. By attending this meeting they will be able to have their questions answered."

An Eastleigh Council spokesman said: "The council has sufficient plots to provide for existing allotment holders who have been displaced from sites at Monks Way and South Street. Plots will start to be allocated to people on the waiting list once these allocations are finalised in October."