3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Country Smallholding today click here

Allotments: councils breaking the law’

PUBLISHED: 13:56 07 September 2008 | UPDATED: 08:27 28 March 2014

The chairman of a national  allotments organisation has hit out at local authorities that are flouting the law by refusing to provide sufficient plots – and he called on the Government to take action over the issue.

The chairman of a national  allotments organisation has hit out at local authorities that are flouting the law by refusing to provide sufficient plots – and he called on the Government to take action over the issue.

Alan Rees, chairman of the National Association of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners, told CS: "At the end of the day local authorities are blatantly breaking the law. They are not providing sufficient allotments. Some are closing waiting lists. What is the Government doing about this?"

Mr Rees was speaking out as pressure grows nationwide for more allotment plots so people can grow their own food. There are currently estimated to be as many as 100,000 people on allotment waiting lists.

The pressure is partly driven by the rising cost of food, but also by greater awareness of healthy eating and concern about reducing 'food miles'.

The1908 Allotments Act places a statutory duty on councils to provide a sufficient number of allotments when requested by a letter from ‘six resident registered parliamentary electors or ratepayers’.

But many councils sold off allotment land after the war and in recent years many sites have been sold for development. The Local Government Association says as many as 200,000 plots have been lost. Now many councils admit they are unable to meet the demand.
 Mr Rees said that in Sheffield alone there are 1,500 people on the waiting list. Plymouth City Council – with a waiting list of 700 – has recently announced the provision of 20 'mini-plots'. Mr Rees poured scorn on this - saying the statutory definition of an allotment plot is 300 sq yards.

We asked the Department for Communities and Local Government for a response, but did not receive one.

0 comments

Interact with other smallholders and post your questions

Visit our forums


More from Land

Friday, September 7, 2018

Although Britain’s record-breaking heatwave has now been broken by rain storms, the impact of the prolonged tinderbox dry summer following a longer than usual winter is likely to continue throughout this year and into next, writes Kim Stoddart

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ask the experts: during the hot weather, here’s how to preserve dwindling water supplies

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Debbie Kingsley outlines what smallholders-in-waiting need to consider when buying their first property

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Liz Shankland continues her guide to improving herd productivity, this time investigating the importance

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The long run of sunshine and dry days of summer 2018 is impacting smallholders and their livestock and crops

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

Our guide to getting your lice and mite treatment up to scratch

Read more
July 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

Debbie Kingsley outlines the rules and regulations for smallholdings. This month: medicine records and fallen stock

Read more
July 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

The countryside is not immune to crime - in fact, it’s increasing

Read more
July 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Jack Smellie looks at what to do when lambing and kidding doesn’t go to plan

Read more
April 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Smallholder Tim Tyne advises on the treatment of lambs which are hypothermic

Read more
April 2018

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Country Smallholding monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

This Year’s Shows

Country Smallholding cover image

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to rural events

Find out more

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter