Century-old allotment legislation holds back grow-your-owners

It highlights concern that although existing legislation imposes a legal requirement on councils to provide allotment space to interested parties, it does not set out a time-scale that they have to do so by which results in unnecessary delays.

The report also states that there are no accurate records available of allotment supply and demand and councils’ waiting lists do not accurately represent levels of interest.

A lack of funding available to people wanting to develop more community growing spaces and difficulties with land provision and planning permissions are other concerns of the report.

“The key message that has come out of this inquiry is that as more and more people adopt a ‘grow your own’ attitude to food production, there is going to be a need for clearer and more coherent support available to them, said Lead Committee Member Leanne Wood AM.

“During the inquiry the committee heard positive evidence of groups coming together to create community spaces and sustainable lifestyles, but we were concerned to hear of people struggling to find space to use and battling against local authorities to fulfil their obligations.

“Revisiting the legislation will go some way to making the acquisition of an allotment an easier process, but there are other issues that need tackling; including the lack of supply and demand records, and difficulties with land and planning permissions.

“As a committee, we hope that the recommendations contained within this report are acted upon so that the keeping of allotments can be encouraged as a sustainable and beneficial way of producing food.”

Committee Chair Kirsty Williams AM said: “This was an important inquiry that highlighted a number of obstacles preventing individuals and communities from enjoying the benefits of keeping an allotment.

“The committee hopes that the report highlights these issues and helps to bring about positive change.”
 
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