5. Section 115 – Allotment site regulations
Section 116 – Allotment site regulations: further
5.1 Section 115 places a duty on local authorities to make allotment site regulations before 1 st April 2020, that is within two years of section 115 coming into force.
5.2 Section 116 makes further provision about the procedure local authorities are to follow in making such regulations.
5.3 In preparing their regulations, local authorities should take into consideration any existing allotment site regulations already in place at existing sites.
5.4 Local authorities should consult widely with a range of stakeholders in their area. This may include, for example, allotment associations, allotment holders, persons on the waiting list and other interested persons. This list is not exhaustive and local authorities should be satisfied that they have engaged all relevant stakeholders and stakeholder groups in their local area.
5.5 Section 115(3) sets out the matters for which a local authority must include provision in its regulations, whereas section 115(4) sets out optional matters for which a local authority may wish to include provision in its regulations.
5.6 Section 115(3)(b) sets out that local authorities must make regulations relating to rent, and a method of determining a fair rent. When determining fair rent levels, authorities should take account of the size and location of the individual allotment for which rent is payable and the condition of any shed/storage available to the tenant on the allotment, the onsite facilities provided, such as toilet facilities, mains water, waste and recycling collection, access to polytunnels, meeting spaces, expenses incurred by the authority in maintaining and managing the allotment site, and any other relevant factors. Authorities should also take account of any improvements and upgrades to the allotment or site when setting future rent levels.
5.7 Local authorities should also make provision for concessions on the level of rent payable. When making provision for concessions, authorities should have regard to their local concessionary procedures to maintain consistency across local services.
5.8 Section 115(5) allows local authorities to make different provisions for different areas or allotment sites since a 'one size fits all' approach to the local authority's regulations might not be appropriate for the range of allotment sites within the local area. Local consultation with a wide range of stakeholders will help to inform local site requirements.
5.9 Section 116 sets out the process that local authorities must undertake to make allotment site regulations, or to vary or revoke them. Any variation or revocation of regulations should be subject to full consultation with interested stakeholders.
5.10 Section 116(2)(b)(ii) requires the local authority to make copies of the proposed regulations available for inspection by the public at least one month before they are made, (i) at its offices and (ii) if it considers it practicable, at the allotment site to which the proposed regulations will apply once made.
5.11 When determining whether the requirement to make the proposed regulations available for inspection at the site is practicable for the allotment site in question, the local authority may wish to have regard to matters such as:
- Whether there is a shared space such as a communal shed on the allotment site in which to place the draft regulations;
- Whether there is a site noticeboard on which to place the draft regulations;
- Whether it is appropriate to erect an appropriate board on which to place the draft regulations;
- Other reasonable steps that could be taken in order to fulfill this requirement.
Once regulations have been made, section 116(9) requires that a copy of the regulations be displayed at the entrance to allotment sites to which they apply.
Question 9 Are sections 115 and 116 of the statutory guidance clear and understandable, to allow the local authority to deliver its statutory obligations under Part 9?
If no, i.e. you consider that the guidance is not clear and understandable, please tell us why you think this, and how it needs to be improved. Please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 9 comments:
Question 10 Are there any gaps or omissions in sections 115 or 116 of the statutory guidance?
If yes, i.e. you consider that there are gaps or omissions, please tell us what you think is missing. If appropriate, please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 10 comments: