Allotment Holders Give Way Before 500-Home Development Plan

The relentless pressure to build more new homes could hardly be more clearly illustrated than by one case in which allotment holders in a small village were required to give way before a 500-unit residential development.

The allotments were entirely surrounded by a much larger site that had for some years been earmarked for development. The owner of the land, in conjunction with a leading housebuilder, had been granted outline planning consent for the project and had given notice to the allotment holders to vacate their plots.

The plan was to remove the allotments’ topsoil and to concrete them over for use as a depot during construction work. At the request of the local parish council, however, the local planning authority had granted the allotments protected status by listing them as an asset of community value under the Localism Act 2011.

However, in upholding the landowner’s appeal and overturning the listing, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) noted that there were health and safety reasons why the allotment holders could not stay. Any semblance of a rural idyll would be dispelled by HGVs and heavy machinery during the building works, which were expected to continue for up to seven years. In the circumstances, it was entirely unrealistic to expect that the site would ever again be used as allotments.