Allotments: guidance for local authorities
Guidance on certain sections of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015: Allotments.
4. Section 114 – Access to allotment and allotment site
4.1 Section 114 requires local authorities to provide reasonable access to allotments and allotment sites that it leases to tenants.
4.2 Where tenants have particular needs, including those arising from disabilities, reasonable adjustments should be made in order that such tenants have physical access to their allotment. When considering what reasonable adjustments to make or reasonable access to provide, the authority should have regard to its obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
4.3 It may not always be possible to provide full access to an allotment site, for example due to the terrain on or near to a particular site, the limited size of an allotment or site, or difficulties posed by lack of parking or routes to a particular site. However local authorities must make all reasonable attempts to make allotment sites and allotments as accessible as possible.
4.4 Depending on the circumstances, it may be reasonable for local authorities to :
- ensure that access tracks or paths to allotment sites are likely to be accessible during adverse weather, e.g. tracks or paths are not overly muddy during periods of heavy rain;
- ensure that access tracks and paths are of a suitable design to accommodate persons of limited mobility and wheelchair and mobility scooter users;
- ensure that paths, roads and tracks in and around the allotment site and allotment are well maintained and compliant with the authority’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010;
- make any existing onsite toilet facilities accessible (e.g. installation of ramps and handrails etc.) (local authorities are not expected to install accessible toilet facilities where none currently exist onsite);
- provide accessible allotments and raised beds near hard standings at the entrance to allotment sites or at other suitable locations on the site;
- provide secure handrails on slopes, steps and other appropriate places in and around the allotment site and allotment;
- consider installing a seating bench or rest area in or close to accessible allotments;
- ensure that paths or tracks to the allotment site and paths within the allotment are sufficiently wide to enable easy access and movement around the accessible allotment, including by wheelchairs and mobility scooter users; and
- where practicable, provide car parking close to the site entrance.
4.5 Where a local authority leases a site from a private landowner, consideration should be given to the duties and rights under the lease between the local authority and the landlord in relation to adjustments to be made regarding access.
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