Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th March 2009.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Department's policy on the sale for development of allotments is.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Local authorities are required under section 8 of the Allotments Acts 1925 to obtain consent from the Secretary of State to dispose of statutory allotments. Consent cannot be given unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that certain criteria are met. These criteria are as follows:

the allotment in question is not necessary and is surplus to requirement; adequate alternative provision will be made for displaced plot holders; the number of people on the waiting list has been taken into account; that the authority have actively promoted and publicised the availability of sites and have consulted the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners; and the implications of disposal for other relevant policies, in particular development plan policies, have been taken into account.

In addition, planning policy guidance note 17 Open Space, Sport and Recreation, requires that existing open space, including allotments should not be built on unless an assessment has been undertaken by the local planning authority which has clearly shown the open space to be surplus to local requirements.

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