Laura Sharman 19 February 2015

Pickles urged to stop councils 'deregulating allotments'

Pickles urged to stop councils deregulating allotments image

A petition has been launched calling on the Government to protect allotments, following accusations councils are selling off allotment land to developers.

The petition – which had 10,000 signatures at the time of writing this story - claims the Government turned down only four out of 199 applications to close allotment sites between 2007 and 2013.

It states: ‘Many allotments are on land that has become valuable and the last few years has seen a disturbing trend where councils have increased requests to deregulate allotments in favour of property development that do not always best serve local needs.’

However, minister for communities, Stephen Williams, said since 2010 the amount of land provided for allotments has actually increased, with 2,000 new places created in the past few years.

‘In January 2014, the department published allotment disposal guidance: safeguards and alternatives replacing the previous guidance from 2002,’ he said.

‘The new guidance strengthens allotment protection, as the requirement for waiting lists to be taken into account must now be rigorously applied to all that council’s waiting lists, not just the waiting list for the site to be disposed of. This aims to ensure that poorly maintained sites are not used to justify disposal.’

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