Scotland’s Allotments Can Have A Productive Future

Today in parliament people power was shown to work.  The Community Empowerment Bill was passed through the Scottish Parliament and in Part 7, on allotments, amendments were accepted by the Scottish Government that addressed all the major concerns raised by SAGS during the consultation period.  The amended bill should protect and enhance Scotland’s allotment community into the future.

The main concerns raised by SAGS and addressed by the amendments related to:

  • Statutory protection of allotments – local authorities will now need to consult with ministers before closing a site and will have to provide a replacement if there is demonstrable demand.
  • Plot Size – 250 sq m has been defined as the size of a standard plot with the flexibility that people can ask for a smaller plot if the standard size is too big for them to manage
  • Time on waiting lists – local authorities are now required to maintain a central waiting list of people wanting an allotment and to take reasonable steps to increase provision if  waiting list numbers are greater than 50% of the exisiting number of plots, or if someone has been on the waiting list for 5 years or more
  • Fair Rents – allotment rents must be set at a rate that reflects both the level of service provision and the plotholder’s ability to pay.

These amendments were brought about by the dedication and hard work of hundreds of SAGS members who emailed, lobbied and generally persuaded their elected representatives to take allotments seriously as a valuable resource for food, health, environmental quality and human happiness.  So-A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED.

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