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Author Topic: Councils Selling Off Allotments  (Read 37619 times)

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Seaforth Allotments

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2009, 17:33 »
I think part of the problem is that many local councils are extremely short of cash.  Whilst allotments deliver significant benefits - of which we are all aware - they do not generate revenue for the council!

Whereas, if an allotment site was sold to private developers, it could (potentially) be worth a small fortune.

I'm currently trying to encourage the development of additional sites in Sefton.  In conversation with a local councillor, however, it transpires that although suitable (council owned) land has been found, the cost of converting it - perhaps as little as £3,000 - cannot be met from council funds.

This is frustrating - but I'm going to keep trying!   :)


richyrich7

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2009, 19:57 »
Like John has suggested our new allotment site will be 20 10x10m plots, some of them may be split into 1/2 if we have enough take up.

We applied under section 106 for our funds
"Under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, contributions can be sought from developers towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure, the need for which has arisen as a result of a new development taking place."
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Paul Plots

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2009, 02:20 »
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.

Government pressure on local authorities to meet new housing targets are leading to all sorts of pieces of valuable land being "surplus"...... this includes our school site! Although legislation prohibits the sale of children’s playing fields there seems a loop hole: If a school is demolished the land it stood on is not a playing field so the children are losing out too. We’ve gone from two football pitches and other sports areas marked out along with a 100m running track to one football pitch and the invite to use the local college all-weather pitch…as well as the long walk that entails to get there and back!

It seems too many people are more concerned with making personal profits than they are in thinking about the community as a whole!       :(  :(   :(
« Last Edit: August 17, 2009, 02:22 by Learner »
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Zeb

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2009, 09:30 »

This unused allotment site a few hundred yards from me,looks like it will stay unused.

With a waiting list well into treble figures, the council says it will cost too much to secure/fence the site and add a water supply




Paul Plots

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2009, 14:31 »

This unused allotment site a few hundred yards from me,looks like it will stay unused.

With a waiting list well into treble figures, the council says it will cost too much to secure/fence the site and add a water supply





The big problem with this patch of gound is it looks like there is a nice road leading into it so it would be ideal for yet another belt of housing to help the local authority meet their new house building targets!

We have the prospect of two lots going up near us joining little village areas together. 650 house on Grade 1 agricultural land and then 2,500 houses on the other side of us.

Amazing as a few years back the UK had excess housing stock!!

Seaforth Allotments

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2009, 21:42 »
Quote from: Learner

It seems too many people are more concerned with making personal profits than they are in thinking about the community as a whole!

This is a sad fact.  It is also noticeable that very few resources are directed towards allotments - locally and nationally.

There is a severe shortage of allotments in my local area (as everywhere else); however, where suitable land has been located for a (small) new site - behind a factory, next to a railway, practically useless for anything else - it cannot be employed due to "cost efficiency" considerations.

Despite my generous offer to work for free (unskilled manual labour) in converting it!   :tongue2:

To be fair, I think this is, in part, a function of the relative impoverishment of local councils, and of ours in particular.  But deprived areas should surely receive a more resources - not less!

Quote

With a waiting list well into treble figures, the council says it will cost too much to secure/fence the site and add a water supply

And it looks like you're experiencing the same problem...

'Priorities' are evidently elsewhere.   :(

John

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2009, 00:40 »

To be fair, I think this is, in part, a function of the relative impoverishment of local councils, and of ours in particular.  But deprived areas should surely receive a more resources - not less!


Seems to make a lot of sense to me - especially as the social & health benefits of allotments will also have a financial benefit to the state.
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Paul Plots

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2009, 01:12 »
Often developers who stand utlimately to make large finacial profits are expected to "pay-back" and provide something for the local community. Too often this is a road or other basic infrastructure.

Perhaps Local Authorities / Councils could be encouraged to see allotments as infrastructure that would benefit communities - or are they too keen to find finances for projects they they should provide?  :unsure:

Seaforth Allotments

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2009, 13:00 »
Quote from: john

Seems to make a lot of sense to me - especially as the social & health benefits of allotments will also have a financial benefit to the state.

Quote from: Learner

Perhaps Local Authorities / Councils could be encouraged to see allotments as infrastructure that would benefit communities...

Yes, indeed.  Projects such as allotments are extremely low-cost, in terms of the benefits they provide over an extended period.  It's just the initial investment that is problematic...

Perhaps what we need is some form of 'target' - frame the issue of allotments in language that New Labour politicos can understand!   :lol:

richyrich7

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2009, 22:08 »

This unused allotment site a few hundred yards from me,looks like it will stay unused.

With a waiting list well into treble figures, the council says it will cost too much to secure/fence the site and add a water supply




 >:(  they can get grants for that work there's no excuse,   
http://www.farmgarden.org.uk/ari/    is where to start Yorkie put me onto them THANKS YORKIE x x  :)

Yorkie

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2009, 22:20 »
 8) 8) 8)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

scenic

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2009, 22:19 »
interesting debate,  S106 planning obligations are a clear source of funding where councisl do often have monies sloshing about off the back of development.  To be successful though you have to lobby for clear policies in the local plan that would allow councils to seek funding directly for allotments as part of a development to meet the needs directly associated wit h a development.  as a planning consultant to developers, if faced with a relatively modest sum to provide allotments or enhanced facilities on existin sites i reckon many would bite at the chance if it meant they could bargain away some of the other demands.    BUT if they dont need to becaure a policy doesnt say they do then they will avoid.

they often have scrappy bits of land as well that they cant always use so its worth lobbying your local councllors about them too.


Yorkie

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2009, 22:24 »
Bear in mind that scrappy pieces of land may not always be suitable for allotments.  We see constant drainage problems where new builds create run-off and other drainage difficulties.

Or the land may previously not have been used because of issues such as contamination.

Or, as is likely to be the case near me, the local primary school's demand for closer playing fields trumps the allotment brigade's shouts.

scenic

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2009, 22:33 »
accept the poisnt re drainge/contamination etc..  but thats where S106 works best...  council can oblige the developer to clean up, drain make suitable etc.

beware something called the community infrastructure levy due should labour win the next election..S106 may well be replaced witnh one off fee per development that results in ££££  going direct to councils and central government to fund 'infrastructure"  wont be a new allotment in sight after that is my guess

NigelB

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Re: Councils Selling Off Allotments
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2009, 14:59 »
accept the poisnt re drainge/contamination etc..  but thats where S106 works best...  council can oblige the developer to clean up, drain make suitable etc.

beware something called the community infrastructure levy due should labour win the next election..S106 may well be replaced witnh one off fee per development that results in ££££  going direct to councils and central government to fund 'infrastructure"  wont be a new allotment in sight after that is my guess

Hi Scenic,
(My bold) Yeah, that makes for some 'interesting' reading.....  :blink:
From my first impression, it looks like it will all be down to how one defines 'infrastructure'.
They say the definition

 ...............should be wide enough to enable local authorities to decide what infrastructure is appropriate for their local areas. Development can be unlocked and made sustainable by the provision of very different types of infrastructure, such as transport, schools and healthcentres, flood defences, play areas, parks and other green spaces, many of which are already funded in part by the existing system of developer contributions..........."
(My bold)...... So maybe it's not all bad........... For now at least.... ;)
Fingers crossed.



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Water Charges Threat to Allotments

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