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Petition Tag - allotments

1. Allow Sheds on Allotments Without Planning Permission

In 2011 a new development of around a hundred allotment plots was created on a field in Armitage, Staffordshire. The take up was rapid and within months local people were producing fruit and vegetables for themselves.

A number of small sheds were erected on some of the plots, but Lichfield District Council soon served notice that the sheds required planning permission as they are permanent and substantial structures, and should be removed immediately. Since then it has been made clear that should planning permission be applied for it will be denied.

We believe that a 6 foot by 4 foot shed does not require planning permission for the following reasons;
The sheds are small in size.
The sheds are not physically attached to the ground in any way.
The sheds have no services such as water or electricity.
The sheds are easily moveable.

Many other councils have decided that 6 foot by 4 foot sheds on allotments do not require planning permission, and LDC could do themselves. The reason given by one councillor was “it is sensible to allow allotment holders to have a small shed on site in which to store various equipment”.

Sheds are a valuable asset to allotments; they have an environmental benefit by removing the need to travel by car with a boot full of tools, as well as by linking with water butts to reduce the use of the water supply. They make allotments neater and tidier allowing tools and other bits and bobs to be stored when not in use.

The allotments have rapidly become a valuable resource to the local community, used by young and old alike, and accessible to so many because of the sheds. Without sheds there is a real danger the use of the allotments will become limited.

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2. North Kelvin Meadow Campaign

The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign (www.northkelvinmeadow.com) is a voluntary community organisation in Glasgow. At the end of 2008, volunteers began to transform a derelict playing field into an inspiring green space, including a meadow, woodland, a community orchard and allotments.

Glasgow council wants to sell the land for flats, but local people feel strongly that it should remain a community space and do not want these flats on the land. Local authorities are required by law to provide allotment sites and Cosla, the umbrella body for Scotland's councils, has compiled a report which urges local authorities to acquire, manage and develop more land for allotments.

Currently the waiting list for allotments in the area is eight years. Please support us by signing the petition and writing to your MP, MSP and Glasgow Council about it! Thanks.

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3. Save Jim's Allotment

We have decided to re open the petition to Save Jim's Allotment as Peter is not longer part of the campaign due to personal decisions.

We ourselved feel that it is not time to back off as there is still no response from the council with regards to an apology to the way Jim has been treated, nor to the way they are still sweeping the issue under the carpet.

For those of you who are on here for the first time here is the story :-

Jim Harvey, a 76 year old resident of Buckland Brewer in Devon, has been threatened with notice to quit his allotment by Buckland Brewer parish council.

Jim has tended his allotment for seven years and has taken on two others, when asked to by the council, so that these did not revert to wilderness.

In 2007, Jim applied to the council to erect a polytunnel to help him supply his extended family with organic produce throughout the year. Even though planning permission was not required, the council refused Jim’s request and, at the time, gave no reasons for its decision.

Later in the year, Jim erected a polythene covered greenhouse. In response, the council demand that he remove the ‘unauthorised structure’. Yet, the greenhouse did not require planning permission nor did the council have powers to regulate the erection of ‘structures’ on the allotments. This is because neither Jim nor any other allotmenteer had signed a tenancy agreement specifying terms and conditions.

Jim has refused to comply with the council’s demand, because it had no power to make such a demand.

Effective 1 March 2008, the council imposed terms and conditions on allotment holders, including a requirement to seek permission to erect ‘structures’. As the term ‘structure’ is not defined, it could, in theory, mean beanpoles, cold frames or scarecrows. But, the transparent aim was to get Jim to remove his greenhouse.

The council is now attempting to use the new tenancy agreement retrospectively to evict Jim and voted to serve notice to quit.

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