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Author Topic: Councils Selling Off Allotments  (Read 37632 times)

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John

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Councils Selling Off Allotments
« on: June 04, 2009, 16:01 »
Does anyone have any experience of local councils trying to sell off their allotment sites for development? Garden News is investigating this practice and is interested in finding out how big a problem it is and asked for our help.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 19:52 »
The opposite is true in my parish.  The council would like to find land for more allotments but no one in the parish will sell any.  They are all hanging on to it in the hope of getting planning permission for more housing  >:(
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Celery

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 20:05 »
My brother has one in Woking and he mention something about his been sold of but I think the resession has put it on hold.I think it was going to be a industrial develoment.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 20:16 »
Garden news might find this of use:

PROTECTION OF ALLOTMENTS 

Jay Dubya

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 20:32 »
Hi, i live in Swaffham Norfolk and the council here took two plots for sale, they kept on refering to them as surplus plots and at the time we did have surplus plots, but not these two. These two plots were full of allotmenteers but had access to a road whereas all the surplus land was landlocked. We tried to fight it but didn't stand a chance because we had this other surplus land. Twelve months or so later it's a different story the council are stuck with the land, and we now have a waiting list, so can we overturn the decision probably not, but all those plotholders had to move or retire because of all the work to start a new allotment, not a great outcome.

digalotty

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 21:18 »
the council cut my site in half and are selling half off, it was going to be a site for a relocation of a mental hospital by lord sainsbury  so he could redevelope the original site, he had a covant lifted off the land so he could build on it but local residants found out and stopped it
when im with my 9yr old she's the sensible one

SnooziSuzi

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 21:49 »
Our local council tried to sell some of the land at our allotments, but ours are statutory and it had to go to the Sec. of State who, at the time, was John Prescott.  He took one look and overturned it in our favour!!

http://archive.thenorthernecho.co.uk/2003/6/27/86850.html

Parsnip

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 22:02 »
John, only yesterday BBC Midlands today covered a story on exactly this. It was about a site in Birmingham where  some plots were being sold to a developer >:( There was supposed to be a final decision from the council  today..But I didn't see the programme tonight to see if it was covered.

I've had a quick scan on the BBC midlands today website but I can't find it...

compostqueen

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 23:21 »
yes our council tried to sell ours off from under us but we fought like hell. Trouble is all the cards are stacked in the council's favour and they just cheat to get round the rules>:(

Mitsy

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 00:04 »
Everything boils down to money at the end of the day and its a shame  :(

Councils know there are waiting lists all over the country....some into the 100s. Its been on tv and even radio today about the demand for an allotment and demand can't be met so why close more?   >:(
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BrianK

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 20:39 »
One set of Melton Constable allotments were sold off to a develop 2-3 years ago. At that time there were fewer people that wanted one and many of the secondary site were empty.

As it happens there is an issue that means that the allotment area has not yet been built on and may yet be made into allotments again.

Long story......
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jannie

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2009, 13:15 »
there was something like this going on close to our area last year a development company had told the rhiwderin allotment holders that they had to leave buy 2009 ,the offerered them another site but they choose to fight,the last i heard the welsh office had got involved jan

angelavdavis

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 14:47 »
Our lists are over 200 long for most council allotments in our area and 30+ for private allotments.  Various members of the public (including myself) and organisations such as the Hastings and St Leonards Allotments Federation have tried, over a number of years, to force the local council to reopen allotments as they have watched the lists grow and grow.

Regardless of the letters sent to local papers and councils, they are very slow in moving - citing that they have now got an improved policy for evicting people from untended plots as the first stage of improvement - even though this appears to be very slow and the member of staff at the local council only has 10% of his duties assigned to the management of allotments.

They are currently sitting on a few sites that are statutory and therefore illegally left fallow over the last nine years but claim cost being the reason that they are reticent to reopen these sites before pursuing this new policy.

However, a portion of former Hastings allotment site has been put up for auction on 9th June 2009 (http://www.cliveemson.co.uk/listing_view.asp?Lot=85&Auc=133).  I have queried ownership and it appears to not be in the ownership of the council, who stated in their response to my question on their local Ask The Leader site, that they have no plans to sell off allotment land: (http://www.hastings.gov.uk/asktheleader/questionsanswers.aspx see questions 787, 786, etc)

I have been attempting to meet five other local council tax payers who are on the allotment list in order to start an action against the council and have received support from the allotment federation as mentioned.  However, I have not been yet contacted by anyone despite advertising on various allotment sites, sending a letter to the local paper (that hasn't yet been published), contacting BBC Southern Counties and posting on Hastings Network forum. 

The federation have since discovered that leaving the statutory sites fallow is tantamount to putting them out of action - something they cannot do without permission from the Secretary of State - so the federation (supported by NGALG) is currently challenging them about this.
Read about my allotment exploits at Ecodolly at plots 37 & 39.  Questions, queries and comments are appreciated at Comment on Ecodolly's exploits on plots 37 & 39

caroline800

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 18:47 »
Our city council is talking about selling two sites in the City.  there are currently 18 (ish) sites, the two they are talkingn about selling aren't taking on new tenants and only one site has any vacant plots.  All the rest have waiting lists.  Council had a meeting with reps from all sites in November last year, but we;ve heard nothing since so don;t know if they're going ahead with trying to get permission for the sales.

Caroline

BrianK

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 08:06 »
I know its not been mentioned but...

If your council HAS to sell off its allotment land (and let's face it.. has anyone got a   cash rich council lately with oodles of spare cash that isn't going to need to raise it's council tax for years to come?) then why not consider forming a Trust to purchase it and run the land as an association.

There are many ways to get funding and in this economic climate developers are not really falling over each other to take on new projects.

The worst possible scenario is that Councils have to neet a target figure of new affordable homes which to be frank hardly any are bothering to attempt, lt alone making an effort to use brownlands as they are meant to be.

Worth a thought.



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