How often have we heard that one before?
I strongly suspect that someone is cheating!
Look at the requirements:-
“Under the law, any sell-offs must be approved by the secretary of state and local authorities must prove that the site is unnecessary because no one is using it or on a waiting list or that it is not “reasonably practicable” to keep it.”
I know of no allotment for which there is no waiting list. “In 1996 there were four people waiting for every 100 plots, but that has risen to 57 today.”
The only allotment that I knew of that was not being used was the one I had. I couldn’t use it, as I was working abroad at the time, and had nobody to use it on my behalf. The rest of the site, however, was fully occupied.
I cannot think of a situation – apart from sleaze – that would make it not “reasonably practicable” to keep an allotment site.
Nevertheless, between 2010 and 2013, 83 councils applied to sell allotment sites to make way for development. Somehow, 83 councils had found the “justification” to make such an application.
I simply don’t believe this to be possible!
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has rejected just two out of 83 applications.
Really! As many as that?
“Two have been refused by Mr Pickles, 10 are pending, 59 have been approved and the remainder (12) withdrawn, figures released under Freedom of Information laws show.”
I think if Mr Pickles had been doing his job properly, there would have been 83 rejections!
And if you ever doubted that the law is an ass, here is the proof:-
“If a sale goes ahead, the council is obliged to provide an alternative site within two miles.”
You take people that have invested years of TLC into their plot to get the maximum return, and move them onto land that they must break-in anew? Absolutely crazy!
It makes much more sense to offer the developers an alternative site, and leave the allotments exactly where they need to be.
I think somebody needs to do some serious digging!
What can you do to help?
Sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/61225 for starters.
Then visit http://www.allotmoreallotments.org.uk/index.htm for the legal background and more information.
And don’t foget the legal loophole, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7749777/Councils-exploit-legal-loophole-to-get-out-of-providing-allotments.html
As you should all know by now, the answer lies in the soil!