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Planning and allotments

Hundreds of people are campaigning to get more space around communities and in urban areas for allotments. In some cases, Local Authority officers and members have stalled or turned down applications in the belief that planning permission is needed for horticulture or market garden style growing. This isn't the case, according to useful information dug out by Pembrokeshire environmental champion, Vicky Moller:

The current planning legislation, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and its predecessors indicated that the use of land for agriculture did not comprise development for the purposes of the planning legislation and, consequently, planning permission is not required for thechange of use of any land to use as agriculture.

The definition of agriculture provided by the legislation is as follows:-

"agriculture" includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the faring of land for other agricultural purposes, and "agricultural" shall be construed accordingly.

The question of whether the use of land as allotments came within the definition of agriculture was considered by the High Court in the case of Crowborough Parish Council -v- Secretary of State for the Environment and Another (1982) 43 P&CR 229 where it was concluded that the use of land as allotments did fall within the defintion of agriculture and that, consequently, planning permission would not be required for the change of use of any land to use for allotments.

Time to get digging.


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