April 24, 2013
Making space for allotments
Any conversation about allotments generally includes a reference to the many years of sitting on a waiting list that must be endured before being allocated a plot. The 1892 Allotments Act requires a local authority to provide plots on request but lacks the necessary powers of enforcement. Responding to the many references to this during the consultation on the Community Empowerment Bill, Scottish Government is now consulting on how the existing allotment legislation could be tightened.
Grow your own
Plans to simplify and overhaul Scotland’s allotment rules were announced last week.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has launched a consultation to consider the shape of future allotment legislation.
Among the questions being asked are:
• Should councils be required to provide people in their area within a specified timeframe
• Should councils have a duty to provide a specific number of allotments in their area per head of population
Mr Lochhead said:
“Growing your own food is continuing to grow in popularity in Scotland and this goes hand in hand with an increasing desire to know where our food comes from.
“Allotments provide a range of benefits including better health, an opportunity to learn new skills, and an understanding of where food comes from – not forgetting the chance to eat the fruits of your labour.
“We’re committed to helping people to grow their own food and this consultation will consider what changes should be made to the existing legislation to make it simpler and fit for today’s community needs.
“Many communities have expressed a desire to get back to nature and more involved with growing their own food and that’s exactly what we’re working to make possible.”