Poultry at allotment not allowed for new plot holders

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Vlad Velici

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Hello, I am new here. I just arrived from Google by stumbling upon this thread about local council not allowing chicken at an allotment.

My situation is somewhat similar. The city council says the rules have changed in 2018, where they do not allow new applications to keep poultry. Their reason is that apparently there have been cases where poultry wasn't well taken care of, and they decided to stop allowing new applications.

What is infuriating is that they don't allow anyone new to keep any birds, but everyone who had them before this decision was made, can keep them. And so many people have birds in the plots near mine! The rules state that they are allowed to even renew their stock, which I find unfair. People on nearby plots have not only chicken, but also non-egging birds like budgies.

So I have emailed them to ask if I could keep my quail there, trying to be reassuring they'll be well taken care of. The response was a plain no: "from 2018 we do not take new applications". I keep mentioning application because before 2018 you could just apply to keep poultry - I guess they had that in place to keep track of who had poultry. I didn't have a plot back then, though.

I know a very little about the Allotments Act 1950 and from the thread I linked above, it seems that they can't set such rules. Is that right?

Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed to be able to keep my quail on the allotment?

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Yorkie

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Re: Poultry at allotment not allowed for new plot holders
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 21:51 »
The Allotments Act has not been repealed in the 10 years since that previous thread which you linked to.  It is an Act of Parliament, and its wording is clear, in that the right to keep hens or rabbits on an allotment garden cannot be removed by clauses in other documents.

The only reason when the right to keep hens or rabbits is removed, is if they are essentially a statutory nuisance i.e. smells, noise, vermin.

I would contact the NSALG for assistance in writing a letter to the council which points out that primary legislation permits the keeping of hens, and that local rules cannot override primary legislation.

Given the blanket ban on new applications, clearly there is not any justification based on case-specific statutory nuisance grounds, and therefore their position is not supportable.

You might find someone arguing that quails are not hens - I'm afraid I don't know enough about this to know whether this is a complete red herring (or red hen  :wub: ::) )

Good luck.
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Aunty

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Re: Poultry at allotment not allowed for new plot holders
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 23:37 »
The law is exactly as Yorkie states.  You have the right by act of Parliament to keep hens or rabbits on allotments as long as they do not cause a nuisance.  You do not, in fact, need to ‘apply’ to keep them but it would be polite to notify they council so that they are aware that welfare of the animals needs to be checked periodically. 

There is no other legal right for allotment holders to keep any other animals than hens for eggs or table birds, and rabbits for meat.

Many councils are not clear about the law.  A council cannot over rule Parliament although some mistakenly think they can do so with a rule or bylaw.
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Vlad Velici

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Re: Poultry at allotment not allowed for new plot holders
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 13:28 »
Thank you so much Yorkie and Aunt Sally. I'll keep you updated on how this progresses.

For now, I'll get in touch with NSALG.

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jaydig

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Re: Poultry at allotment not allowed for new plot holders
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 18:41 »
I agree that the law is exactly as already stated.  The only proviso on our allotment site is that no cockerels are permitted as this cause a noise nuisance for adjacent houses.  I think that's such a shame because when I was very young everyone around kept chickens, and the sound of cockerels crowing early on summer's mornings was a very comforting noise.  It simply felt that all was right with the world.



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