Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report


114. Allotments are characterised by some as an anachronism, a relic of a bygone era. However, we believe that the benefits allotment sites provide to both allotment holders and the general public mean that they have a critical role in modern, urban life. These benefits include exercise, the supply of affordable fresh vegetables, increased biodiversity, 'green space', and the potential for educational and therapeutic benefits for some sections of the community.

115. The number of plots has been diminishing since the Second World War and has halved in the last thirty years. Sites are being lost to development and moves to increase urban housing densities are likely to place further pressure on the remaining allotment sites. Many submissions noted that local authorities are failing to stimulate demand for allotments and this is contributing to the erosion of sites. Without action by national Government, local authorities and plot-holders themselves, there is reason to believe that allotment sites will continue to be lost.

116. Our recommendations include changes in legislation, policy and practice. We consider that the force of these measures will be lost if a piecemeal approach is adopted to their implementation. Only if the recommendations are introduced as a package will the Future for Allotments be assured.

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