The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its provision regarding allotments

We are grateful to CPRE Planning for the information below:

Generally, the NPPF and its provision regarding allotments is limited. Allotments are mentioned only twice within the new NPPF and these policies are quite vague and general.

8. Promoting healthy and safe communities

91. Planning policies and decisions should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places which:
(…)
c) enable and support healthy lifestyles, especially where this would address identified local health and well-being needs – for example through the provision of safe and accessible green infrastructure, sports facilities, local shops, access to healthier food, allotments and layouts that encourage walking and cycling.

Para 91(c) can be understood as, if a council has identified a need for allotments (presumably as part of an open spaces and recreation needs study informing their local plan) then they can either identify land for use as allotments in the local plan or require developers to provide allotments on suitable sites through section 106 agreements as part of the open space requirements through their local plan policy.

Of course, if the council has land available in its ownership that could be used for allotments, it can just make them into allotments without worrying about the local plan at all.

Proposals affecting the Green Belt

145. A local planning authority should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the Green Belt. Exceptions to this are:
(…)
b) the provision of appropriate facilities (in connection with the existing use of land or a change of use) for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation, cemeteries and burial grounds and allotments; as long as the facilities preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it;

In addition para 145 is helpful in that it specifies that allotments (and some associated structures) are appropriate development in the Green Belt. It is possible for a landowner to make a reasonable amount of rent from allotments, so this can potentially be a benefit since other developments would not normally be allowed.

As you can see, 100% clear requirements for the provision of allotments within the local plan or for certain development proposals are not included. Therefore, at the moment policies dealing with existing allotments and regarding the provision for within the local plan might be different and depending on the individual districts. Presumably, also the implementation of policies dealing with allotments in future local plans will vary from district to district, particularly due to the quite general policies within the NPPF.

Besides local plans, also neighbourhood plans could include policies for allotments. E.g. if a need for additional allotments exists within the neighbourhood area, the neighbourhood planning group may consider to implement policies dealing with this matter.

Felix Beck | Planning Officer
Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Direct Dial: 020 7981 2857
Email: felixb@cpre.org.uk | Web: www.cpre.org.uk/
Twitter: @cpre


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