Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee
Allotments and the Community Empowerment Act
The Committee has been undertaking post-legislative scrutiny of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. (the ‘Act’). The Committee’s initial focus has been on Part 9, which is about allotments.
Part 9 of the Act aimed to improve the availability of allotments in Scotland and to reduce waiting times. It also required every local authority to prepare a food-growing strategy.
The inquiry examined the Act's impact on improving access to growing spaces and found a considerable demand for allotments that remained unmet. The Committee made several recommendations for the Scottish Government and local authorities to help tackle this. Read the Committee’s report here.
This work is part of the Committee’s look back at how different parts of 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.
The Committee took evidence on this inquiry during the following sessions;
The Committee has been undertaking post-legislative scrutiny of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Committee’s initial focus has been on Part 9, which is about allotments. The Committee has finished its evidence taking and has published its report. The Committee will look at Part 2 of the Act, which relates to community planning, later in the year.
The Committee's report was published on 5 October 2022. Read the report at the following link:
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.