Allotments under threat

Daemienne Sheehan from The Oldie Magazine is researching an article on the threat to allotments by new housing. While the current definition of what constitutes a brownfield site still appears to offer some protection to allotment holders, a looser proviso that all allotments be ‘kept up to standard’ could mean that some allotments face the danger of being designated as derelict and therefore remain open to being taken back by councils AND - property developers. She wants to know if this is the case and whether if it could become a likely scenario – she’s on a deadline, so if you have knowledge or ideas, bung them in asap and I’ll pass them on.

On the same theme, Ilford South MP Mike Gapes has tabled (well more like slammed on the table , to look at the wording) the following motion in the House of Commons:

This House notes that Conservative controlled Redbridge Council has drawn up secret plans to sell off a large number of local land sites, including popular allotments and car parks in a desperate effort to raise up to £150 million; further notes that many of these sites are in Ilford South the most overcrowded and poorest part of the Borough, including allotments in Goodmayes Park extension and Vicarage Lane South; congratulates all those involved in the campaign by local residents again the secret Tory plans and welcomes the letter to the Member for Ilford South on 23rd March 2007 from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government, Baroness Andrews, which confirms that “where a statutory allotment is disposed of; the 1908 Allotment Act requires that any proceeds must be used for the purposes of allotments, and only surplus may be used for other purposes”; that Planning Policy Guidance 17 “provides protection of urban green spaces” and draws the attention of Redbridge Conservative Councillors to the statement of the Minister that “open spaces which local communities need should not be built on”.

The council approved the proposals early in August, hoping to raise about £25m for capital projects not related to allotments, which is why Mr Gapes has tabled his motion. In all, nearly 500 individual plots will be affected by the decision but the council insisted many could be saved through relocation to alternative sites within the borough and the sale in any case requires the approval of the Secretary of State for the Environment. If you’re internet-savvy, you can use the online comment form -here - to share your opinions on this issue with Redbridge Council!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Blogger Barkingside21 said...

There's more on Redbridge Allotments on the barkingside 21 blog, including a petition at

August 17, 2007 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Thanks for that Barkingside21 - keep us in touch with what happens!

August 20, 2007 at 12:35 AM  

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