We were involved in an unusual case regarding allotments. The site is on the edge of a village in Derbyshire. The landowner wants to re-locate the existing allotments and negotiations were underway with the allotment holders.
The village has been a focus for new development and the Parish council were very against the loss of the allotments fearing future development. Firstly the Parish Council tried to have the allotments registered as an Asset of Community Value (an ACV). This failed. They then tried to get the District Council to compulsory purchase the allotments under the 1908 Allotment Act.
My initial thoughts were that this was unlikely, given that a council rarely buys land. However when I read the committee report, where the council was recommended NOT to purchase the land for allotments, it was clear that had there been a shortfall of allotments in the District, the council may have been required to buy this site.
At the District council meeting neither the Parish Council nor the Allotment Holders turned up and the committee voted with officer recommendation. I came away from the meeting feeling that we had got off lightly.
Old pieces of legislation can come back and bite, it was the first time that I had ever seen the 1908 Allotment Act, and I will treat it with respect in the future. For a willing parish council with money, the provisions of the 1908 Allotment Act could potentially be used to block development.
Planning & Design Practice is a multi-disciplinary team of Town Planners, Architects, Architectural Assistants and Design Professionals. We can take a project through from inception to completion but we also offer the flexibility to engage a client’s own architects and provide a planning service, whilst our design team can also work with clients who have engaged other town planning professionals. If you have a site and would like to consider your options for converting it why not give us a call on 01332 347 371 or 0114 221 0168 for a free confidential appraisal.
Jonathan Jenkin, Managing Director, Planning & Design Practice Ltd