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Provision of allotments

Within the Mid Suffolk district area, it is the statutory responsibility of town and parish council’s to provide allotments under Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotment Act of 1908. The town or parish council must take into consideration any representations made to them in writing by any six registered parliamentary electors or ratepayers resident in the area.

Although Mid Suffolk District Council does not have any statutory responsibilities for the provision of allotments, we recognise and support their benefits and will seek to strengthen policies that encourage and safeguard their role. These roles include those at the heart of sustainable community development and support the following areas:

Allotments as a sustainable source of food - Increasing people's awareness about food and how it is made and grown can encourage people to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit. There are benefits to the environment, achieved through providing a local source of food which doesn't have to be transported over great distances, is often free from chemicals, encourages the composting of green waste and may offer dietary benefits at low cost to people on low incomes with poor access to store-bought produce.

Allotments as a resource for health - Working an allotment offers healthy physical recreation for all people. It is increasingly being recognised for its therapeutic value, to the extent that it is being prescribed as a treatment for stress by GPs in some areas.

Allotments as a community resource - Allotment gardening can bring people together from all age groups around a common interest. It can help to foster mentoring relationships where more experienced gardeners can pass on their knowledge to younger or less experienced ones. Allotments often bring together people from a wide variety of social backgrounds, and the activity lends itself to co-operation and contact.

The community benefits of allotment gardens can extend to open-days and annual fairs at which produce can be sold (all produce from allotments can only be sold for community or charitable funds). Links with local community groups and schools can further increase the importance of allotments as a valuable community resource. If allotments can become more important to local communities, then problems with security and vandalism should decrease, demand should increase and participation should widen.

Allotments as an educational tool - There is considerable scope for schools to link up with local allotments societies to use allotments and the skills of plot holders to participate in school education projects. This again has the benefit of fostering contact between generations.

Allotments as a resource for bio-diversity - The range of plants on allotments sites offers a varied and valued habitat for flora and fauna. In addition, compost and woodpiles provide habitats for wildlife.

Allotments as open space - Open space is becoming intrinsically more important within our district. The potential exists for allotments and other forms of community gardens to become important recreational assets and open space amenities for people living in dwellings without gardens.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s Position

We want to provide help and support to Town and Parish Councils’ and Community Groups with the provision of allotments. We can do this in a number of ways:

  • Funding - The Council can provide assistance with funding through a number of means. The Council’s capital grant scheme can potentially help contribute to the cost of additional provision or substantial improvement provided the broader community benefits are clear. The Council’s grant funding officer can also advise on other sources of funding that may be available.
  • Land Acquisition and Planning Advice - If additional land is required the Council can help with land searches, identifying ownership and in some cases with compulsory purchase if necessary. Planning Advice can also be provided by the Council. For further details please contact: planningadmin@midsuffolk.gov.uk 

Further information:

To find out about local provision in your village, you should contact your local town or parish council.

Other useful links:

Allotment disposal guidance (opens new window)

Suffolk Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (opens new window)

The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (opens new window)

Suffolk Wildlife Trust (allotments for wildlife) (opens new window)


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