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Chamber and committees

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee

Allotments and the Community Empowerment Act


Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (“the Act”) aimed to improve the availability of allotments in Scotland and to reduce waiting times for allotments. It also required every local authority to prepare a food-growing strategy.

This short inquiry will look at whether the Act has improved the availability of allotments and whether it has reduced the barriers to accessing allotments.

It will also look at how communities are establishing allotments themselves and the community, health, educational and environmental benefits of allotments and community gardens.

This work is part of the Committee’s look back at how the Act is working.

Part 9 of the Act:

  • requires local authorities to keep waiting lists and take steps to provide allotments if waiting lists are long.
  • strengthens the protection for allotments and clarifies the rights of local authorities and plot holders.
  • explains that the number of people on allotment waiting lists should be no more than 50% of the total number of allotments owned and leased by the authority.
  • states that no one should be on an allotment waiting list for more than 5 years.
  • requires every local authority to prepare a food-growing strategy and review it every 5 years.
  • sets out that the food-growing strategy should identify land that may be used as allotment sites and identify other areas that could be used by a community for the growing of vegetables, fruit, herbs or flowers.

Your views

The inquiry questions asked about:

• The benefits that allotments bring
• The adequacy of the current provision of allotments, and if the Community Empowerment Act or the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on this
• The application process and waiting lists for allotments
• What other providers of allotments there are, or examples of other ways of food growing in communities
• The impact of local authority food growing strategies
• The location of allotments
• What more could be done by local authorities to improve the provision of allotments, and what the challenges are.


The survey closed on Tuesday 24 May. You can view the responses to the survey.



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