Tuesday 3 April 2012

Reply from Scottish Minister

I would be very happy to meet with plot holders to discuss the matter further and would be grateful if you could give me an indication of when and where would be most suitable for you.

Plotholder to Scottish Minister

I am a plotholder at the Oatlands Gate Allotment Site. The LES are trying to enforce a regulation where we are not allowed to build sheds/greenhouses - this is a site with no water facilities. This affects us greatly and we are extremely dissapointed with the councils dealing of this matter. We do not believe the council have the right to enforce this regulation under the Allotments Act of 1921 and we do not believe they are acting in the manner expected from someone who is employed to protect. I have enclosed details of the matter in a word document and would ask that you give our plight your fullest attention.

Response from Glasgow Councillor

I share your dismay on this total nonsense. The green group got agreement at yesterday's council meeting for this to be reviewed with the aim of a design guide which would, I hope lead to a presumption of permission.

Oatlands Gate to Independent Councillor

In your capacity as a councillor can you provide us with facts and statistics from the Council's consultation?

I have been involved at Oatlands allotments for the last 5 years and sat through GAF meetings where the allotment strategy for the Council was discussed many times. At no time, was the idea of refusing sheds mentioned.

Allotments without sheds have no structure and it is actually very difficult to identify where an individual plot starts and stops. The allotment site at Allers in East Kilbride is an example of this as some plotholders have threee plots but only one shed. Perhaps if you can spare the time you could visit this site and get back to us.

Mansewood allotments have now been given permission to erect their sheds. Why?

Bett Homes were recently in the top 3 for a regeneration in housing award. They were the only site in Scotland to have included allotments in their development plans. Surely, a major housing developer would not incorporate something which would deter house sales?

Glasgow City Council said: Since the inception of the Oatlands regeneration project, the inclusion of allotment gardens has been seen as an important feature of the development.

Comment from Independent Councillor

I have had a response from LES who advise that the current Allotment Rules and Regulations do not permit the erection of structures within allotment sites without the approval of Land and Environmental Services.

Following the launch of the Allotment Strategy in 2009, this Service has consulted with a range of communities in relation to the potential to increase allotment provision and reduce waiting lists, through the creation of new allotment sites.

These consultation exercises have generated a comparatively high number of responses, with consultees expressing a wide range of views. One notable theme to any objections received has been in relation to the perceived negative appearance of structures within allotment sites and the potential for this to cause a loss of residential amenity.

Land and Environmental Services would wish to work with allotment associations and with the wider community, to increase the supply of land deemed suitable for allotments use, so that allotment provision is seen as a positive component of the local greenspace amenity and so that allotment waiting lists might be reduced.

They would expect that each application for permission to site structures within new or extended allotment sites will be considered on its own merits, with consideration given to the size and materials proposed, the visual impact on surrounding properties and previous correspondence received from neighbouring properties during consultation and operational phases..

They advise further that they have reviewed the proposal received from a plot holder of Oatlands Gate Allotments and have now responded, advising them that due to its prominent location on the Clyde Walkway and its place within the regeneration of Oatlands, that sheds are unlikely to be permitted at Oatlands Gate, but that to allow plot holders to have somewhere on their plots to store their tools and other personal equipment, secure lockable containers, similar to those proposed in the plot holders email of 1 March (156cm x 74cm x 64cm), are likely to receive approval.

They have asked the plot holder that, to allow this proposal to be fully considered, they would be grateful if the total number of storage containers proposed for Oatlands Gate was confirmed and whether or not they are proposed to be of uniform size and colour.

I hope that this is something that will be considered by all as a way forward to address this current issue. Happy to discuss further.

Comment from local councillor

I am really frustrated at this,with a suggestion of metal containers over natural wood blending into the Clyde's natural landscape.

Oh I get it the art nouveaux containers are to blend with the weaving earthy motorway that blends with the Clyde.

Okay got that out my system.

I along with other eco-architects are more than willing to help Oatland plotholders construct a beautiful natural structure and allow the many critics to cast their artistic eyes and give comment if this fits with their asthetic viewpoints.

We can call in Ben Law or whoever to help with this.

Sound promising ?

Plotholder's comment 29/3/12

Sorry I won't make the meeting Monday - I'm back at work for a week. I'm going to start looking for somewhere (maybe even another allotment) where I can move my shed and raised beds and compost bins should the council ultimately dismantle my shed (I won't be doing it myself unless I think they're going to do it with a sledgehammer). In the meantime I'll continue planting and treat their ludicrous decision with all the contempt I can muster. I'm guessing in the light of this developement we're no longer talking about getting compost and boards brought on site.
As I see it we've no option but to carry on gardening. That sounds like it could be made into a film.