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Allotments: Chorley

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of whether Chorley borough council makes adequate provision for allotments. (181705)

The provision of allotments is the responsibility of local authorities. The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 places a duty on local authorities to provide allotments where they perceive demand for them in their area.

Written representations may be made to the local authority on the need for allotments by any six resident registered electors or persons liable to pay council tax, and the local authority must take those representations into account (section 23(2) of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908). The council must assess whether there is a demand for allotments in their area. If the council then decides that there is a demand for them, they have a statutory duty to provide a sufficient number of plots. In terms of the duty to provide under section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 there is no time limit for provision once it has been established that there is a demand.

The local government White Paper provides new opportunities for citizens to hold their local providers to account for quality of services and facilities.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 17 (Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation) requires local authorities to assess the needs of their communities for a range of open spaces, and to address any identified deficiencies in provision. This is consistent with our wider policy to give local authorities flexibilities and freedoms to determine what is most appropriate for their local area.

To further support local authorities, we are currently revising the good practice guide for the management of allotments in conjunction with the Local Government Association.