Allotments guidance for local authorities: consultation

Consultation on draft statutory guidance for local authorities relating to certain sections of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 - Allotments.

Section 2 – Shaping the food-growing strategy
8. Local authority responsibilities under Part 9 of the Act

8.1 Part 9 of the Act lays a number of duties on local authorities, including:

  • A requirement to have regard to any guidance issued by Scottish Ministers about the carrying out of functions set out in Part 9. In addition to this FGS guidance, Scottish Ministers have issued statutory guidance to local authorities relating to certain sections of Part 9 [11] ;
  • A duty to maintain an allotments waiting list;
  • When certain trigger points of demand are reached, a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure: (1) that the number of people on their waiting list for an allotment does not exceed half the total number of allotments owned and leased by the authority; and (2) that a person on the list does not wait more than five years for an allotment [12] ;
  • A requirement to make allotment site regulations;
  • A duty to develop a local food-growing strategy. This includes the identification of land for allotments and other community growing and describing how the authority will meet demand for such land;
  • A duty to produce an allotments report for its area each year. This includes such matters as the location and size of each allotment site and the number of allotments on each site.

Planning background

8.2 Planning is key to meeting the requirements of section 119. The National Planning Framework 3 [13] sets out that land for food production within towns and cities will become increasingly important. Scottish Planning Policy [14] sets out that planning should protect, enhance and promote green infrastructure, including open space and green networks, as an integral component of successful placemaking.

Partnership approach to preparing local food growing strategies

8.3 Local authority officers responsible for allotments provision or drafting the authority's food-growing strategy should work with their planning colleagues and other relevant stakeholders including local authority equality and diversity team, and economic development team, and relevant parts of the NHS such as health improvement and facilities management teams, to prepare their food-growing strategy.

8.4 Local authorities are required to consider other relevant local strategies around, for example, social care, health and wellbeing, education, environment, economy, local outcome improvement plans, food poverty plan, and planning strategies when they are developing their local food-growing strategies. This list is not exhaustive, and authorities should consider all appropriate local strategies.

Open space audits

8.5 Scottish Planning Policy expects relevant, up-to-date audits, strategies and action plans covering green infrastructure's multiple functions including open space to inform local development plans (and any sub-plans), and for plans to reflect their spatial implications.

8.6 Local authorities are required to carry out an Open Space Audit. Local authorities should make use of the typology in Planning Advice Note 65 [15] ( PAN 65) (which includes 'allotments and community growing spaces') as a starting point for auditing open space but may also consider whether some categories require further classification.

8.7 The PAN recognises the role of community involvement and users of open space/ interest groups in inputting to the open space audit and strategy process ( PAN 65 para 36). This can help identify demand for allotments and other growing spaces and local authorities should ensure that consultation is carried out with appropriate stakeholders.

8.8 The outcome of the Open Space Audit, detailing existing growing space and existing demand and anticipated demand, should be mapped or otherwise recorded.

8.9 Demand for growing space, and the multi-function growing space identified, should be evidenced to prevent such spaces from becoming stalled spaces. Such evidence may be obtained, for example, by analysing waiting lists and considering what future demand might come from new housing developments etc.

8.10 This guidance will be reviewed and amended as appropriate to take account of any forthcoming changes introduced via the Planning (Scotland) Bill, once introduced, and the outcome of the review of Permitted Development Rights.


8.11 Local authorities may find the planning / food-growing strategy flowchart, which sets out the links between the open space audit, open space strategy, local development plan and the food-growing strategy, helpful. The flowchart can be found at Annex B.

Question 17 Are paragraphs 1.1 to 8.11 of the FGS 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 17 comments:

Question 18 Are there any gaps or omissions in paragraphs 1.1 to 8.11 of the FGS 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 18 comments:


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