Am I entitled to an allotment ?
Yes, as long as you are an elector / council tax payer in the
Parish, then you are legally entitled to ask your council for an
allotment. The Parish Council is legally bound to provide
allotments in the Parish if it sees there is a demand.
Demand for allotments in the Parish can be established by at
least six electors / council tax payers signing a letter to the
parish Council requesting allotments. This was done by 34
Hemsby Residents on the 13th June 2009. But there is no
harm in reminding them if you wish to write in yourself.
See the Resources Page for a copy of the
Do I need a shed ?
Sheds are almost essential to any
allotment. It soon gets tiring carrying spade, fork,
compost, bucket, hoe, etc., etc. to and from your plot every time.
They are also useful for sheltering from the rain and making tea
in ! As a side benefit, a bit of guttering and a water
butt can be used to collect water off the roof.
Will I get a shed ?
Although many councils provide sheds, they are not legally
obliged to. In Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, allotment
sheds were originally provided for plot holders. They were
also maintained for the allotmenteers but this is now the
allotmenteers' responsibility. Much depends upon the
willingness of the Hemsby Parish Council to provide these
facilities for it's residents.
How much will a shed cost ?
Hard to say. Taking a look at some online stores would
suggest at least £300 for something you can get inside to make
tea. Check that your shed can be delivered and if so how
much, also does it have a floor ? Bear in mind that it
will need fixing down or will blow away in the winter wind ( and
probably disintegrate ). A yearly coat of preservative
will prolong it's life but add to the cost.
Will there be anywhere to park my car
It is not always convenient or even possible to walk
to an allotment. In practice, apart from those who live
within a few hundred yards, most will travel by car. This
is especially true if there are tools, compost, plants etc. to
carry. It is not reasonable or safe to park on verges or
banks and we do not want to encourage this. A car parking
area is therefore considered essential to any proposed allotment
site. The site currently under discussion, adjacent to the
Maize Maze, has this facility. It does however need to be
clarified about it's use in winter or if the Maize Maze closes.
Must I help run the allotments ?
No. Your only right is to expect the Parish Council to
set up a sufficient number of allotments for the village.
You may just want to grow fruit and vegetables and pay for your
Do we need a Hemsby Allotment
No. But it's probably a very good
idea. It isn't necessary for a Hemsby Allotments
Association to be formed to administer the allotments.
That is the Parish Council's responsibility. A group of
people can voluntarily form an association if they choose.
They may well then be responsible for everything the association
does. It may however only be to form a club for like
minded individuals to help promote gardening and allotment
keeping, or even assist the Parish Council by liaising with
Will there be any water ?
Rather like sheds water is often made available on an allotment
site. In Great Yarmouth and Gorleston allotments typically
have a standpipe every few plots. Plot holders pay about
£4 per annum as a share of the meter charge. The parish
Council is not obliged to provide any water. However, if
they also do not provide a shed there is nothing to collect
water off !
Can I do anything without water ?
Yes, but not everything and you will be at the mercy of the
British weather. If this were not so, why do we see local
farmers using large and expensive irrigation equipment watering
their fields ? Deep rooted crops can still find water when
shallower roots can't. Typically seedlings and young
plants, strawberries and other fruit, beans, cucumbers,
tomatoes, marrows, pumpkins etc. will need lots of water.
For some of these it may be necessary to water everyday.
There is nothing worse than watching your plants die off one by
one for lack of water. Of course, you will also not be
able to make tea !
Is a toilet to be provided on the site
Toilets are becoming a regular feature on allotments
across the country. However, there is no obligation to
provide these. Of course the days when allotments were
invariably held by retired gentlemen have gone. Many women
and children are to be seen on allotment sites these days.
It is once again up to the Parish Council to decide.
Perhaps amongst other things, they should consider if it is
discriminating or a health concern to not provide these
Will there be disabled access ?
Businesses and workplaces are now having to provide
accessibility to all and our homes are due to be affected soon.
Since a couple of people have requested this, it would seem
sensible to factor it in. Level access between car park
and plots, being the most important. We don't know if this
would affect any toilet facilities too. Perhaps those
plots nearest the car park should be reserved for disabled
users. Part plots could also be offered to those who do
not feel able to tackle a whole plot.
How big is an allotment plot ?
A typical plot is 10 Rods ( or Poles or Perches ). A
Rod is a an area measure of 5.5 yards square ( not square yards
), approximately the space occupied by a double garage.
They are this size for a good reason - such a plot is said to
feed a family for a whole year. By agreement it should be
possible to split plots into smaller sizes if required.
Who is responsible for an
Allotments Association ?
is our best guess, please try to clarify this for yourself
elsewhere and let us know.
There are two types of Association; an unincorporated
association and a Limited Company. At the end of the day
they are both legal entities and from their members officers
will be elected. At least the officers of the association
are likely to be responsible for it's actions and liabilities.
As with company directors, this may involve personal
accountability too. Members of an unincorporated
association may well be jointly liable for it's actions and
liabilities. As an example, just because an association is
not for profit does not mean it is exempt from paying taxes and
accounting for them to HMRC. A small club handling a
limited budget and meeting in the Village Hall once a month is
one thing. Responsibility for thousands of pounds in plot
holder's membership fees and rents for land, legal fees,
insurance, banks charges, accounting fees, water charges etc. is
How much should I expect to pay ?
Prices vary wildly across the country. The Internet can
provide some guidance on this. Somewhere between £10 and
£60 seems to be a typical figure. Please bear in mind
there are allotments in Central London that may affect these
figures. Once again, quoting Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
allotment prices, it seems that a typical 10 Rod plot is about
£20 including any other fees, except for water which is £4 per
member. Any price should also include all of the
administration fees at the outset, like membership of the
National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners, who protect
plot holder's interests, also insurance and water need to be
What laws relate to allotments for Hemsby
A National allotments expert has given us the
following list of Acts of Parliament that are relevant to our
campaign ( apparently these can all be found on the web ) :-
Section 23 Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 (S H & A
(1) Two Statutory and hence mandatory obligations on a Municipal
authority (a) to provide a sufficient number of allotments ; (b)
to let these to folk who wish to take them. These duties are
absolute – they admit of no challenge, argument or defence.
S.25 S H & A Act 1908, which confers powers of compulsory
acquisition of land for allotments on Municipal authorities)
Section 26 (S H & A Act 1980)
(1) The Council of a borough, urban district, or parish may
improve any land acquired by them for allotments and adapt the
same for letting in allotments, by draining, fencing, and
dividing the same, acquiring approaches, making roads and
otherwise, as they think fit, and may from time to time do such
things as may be necessary for maintaining such drains, fences,
approaches, and roads, or otherwise for maintaining the
allotments in a proper condition.
(2) The council may also adapt the land for allotments by
erecting buildings and making adaptations of existing buildings,
but so that not more than one dwelling house shall be erected
for occupation with any one allotment; and no dwelling house
shall be erected for occupation with any allotment of less than
S. 39 (2) S H & A Act 1908 confers powers of compulsory hiring
Rates are not payable – the user of allotments land is not a
above information is provided on an as is basis and is for
guidance only. Individuals are recommended to carry out
their own research and not to rely solely upon this information.
If anyone knows of any errors they should contact us with
updated information as soon as possible. We cannot
guarantee to enter into any correspondence on any of the above
or any other matters but will endeavour to do so when possible.