Losing the Plot

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For years allotment associations having been letting out starter plots, half plots and full plots based largely on rule of thumb and the traditions of their particular site. Suddenly a couple of large spanners have emerged that will disrupt these arrangements. These are:

            • The implementation of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment Act which defines a full plot as 250 metres squared and states that local authorities must allow people joining their central waiting lists to specify what size of plot they want;

• The major hike in rents that was proposed by the Glasgow Council in its annual budget.

The effect of these two changes has been to make the size of your plot a matter of concern for every plotter who signs a Council missive.

In March 2023 the first Annual Allotment Report was published and under the heading 3. Period of Lease and Annual Rent there is Table 2 entitled Annual Rental Charges which starts with the following 2 columns.

Plot SizeSize
Full Plot150 m– 250 m2
Half Plot75 m2   –  125 m2
Fractional Micro plotRaised bedUnder 50 m2

The first question to ask is, How were these figures derived? What happens if your plot is between 125 m2  and 150 m2, or between 50 m2  and 75 m? Fife has got round this problem by establishing a basic charge for every 1 m2. Unfortunately, GCC’s recent survey assessing the number of plots on their allotments sites in Glasgow didn’t involve any accurate measurement of size!

The second question is when did a raised bed become an allotment plot ? An allotment is a small garden in which to grow vegetables, fruit  and flowers together and space to store a few tools etc. GAF thinks the minimum size for a plot should be 25 mDoling out raised beds to people who want an allotment is not legitimate in our estimation.

When the rental is due to rise by 400% over the next few years the size of your plot suddenly becomes a critical issue for every allotmenteer. What is more the new Draft Allotment Regulations indicate that the allocation of plots, and therefore allocation and estimation of plot size will no longer be down to your Association to decide – it will pass to the Food Growing Team. 

Has this issue been discussed on your site? What do you think ought to be done about it?

Let us know at GAFForum@gmail.com