Saving the Allotment

February 3, 2008

The allotment        Grow your own vegetables

Allotment holders’ bid to save plots from housing plan.

Allotment holders across Oxford defiantly said they would dig for victory in the battle to save their plots from the treat of new houses.

Planners have identified three allotment sites on which 400 homes could be built in a confidential list of potential sites if demand for housing continues to soar. These new housing plans will spell disaster for what little green space is still left in Oxford. At a time when growing your own food is seen as increasingly important for people’s health and the environment we need to be opening more land for allotments, not slapping housing on ones that already exists. With the ever increasing demand for new housing the battle lies between the need for housing, as against protecting our important green spaces. In 2000 the city council, which rents allotments directly to associations, agreed a standard lease agreement until 2021 – effectively meaning allotments are free from development for another 14 years.

Most of the 36 city council-owed plots are bound by long-term leases, meaning they are free from development until at least 2020.

Allotments are incredibly valuable spaces. In addition to growing your own tasty vegetables which saves on carbon miles as the vegetables are locally grown rather than grown abroad, they keep you fit, are educational and save you money.