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Demand for Land in South Somerset

Allotment Provision and Demand for Land in South Somerset

Survey results: there are at least 39.29 hectares (97 acres) of allotments in South Somerset

Allotments are a vehicle for delivering on health, social and economic agendas promoting community cohesion, education, health and the environment. However, results of a recent survey in which 67 of 121 parish councils in South Somerset took part, suggest access to land is a barrier to people’s ability to grow food.

  • 40 parishes provide 1518 allotment plots, 20 of which have waiting lists.
  • 339 new allotment plots have been created in the last 2-3 years on 10.61 hectares of mainly privately owned land.
  • Despite provision of more allotments in South Somerset than in Mendip and Sedgemoor combined, 277 people remain on allotment waiting lists. Latent demand suggests this number should be doubled.
  • Two community gardens at Tatworth and St Marks Church in Yeovil provide growing space for 38
  • The law says if 6 people petition, parish councils are obliged to consider the provision of land.

 

Location

Plots

Area

Waiting list

Population

Abbas and Templecombe

16

no data

5 vacancies

1506

Barrington 

7

0.07

3

427

Bruton

20

0.31

25

3000

Brympton 

47

0.76

6

4956

Buckland St Mary 

6

no data

0

559

Castle Cary 

34

0.54

4

3000

Chard 

169

2.46

40

14,000

Chilthorne Domer

10

0.15

5

3124

Combe St Nicholas 

32

0.98

1

1400

Compton Dundon

26

5.2

2

710

Crewkerne 

41

0.87

45

6728

Curry Rivel

39

1.46

3

2000

Henstridge

32

0.67

8

1651

Hinton St George

no data

0.14

no data

404

Huish Episcopi

24

0.26

2

1940

Ilchester 

32

0.79

9

2170

Ilminster 

38

1.43

16

4781

Kingsbury Episcopi 

23

0.24

1.5 vacancies

1277

Langport 

20

0.87

0

1067

Lytes Cary

40

1.43

2

Martock incl Bower Hinton

44

1.4

8

4468

Merriott

52

1.2

0

1648

Milborne Port 

50

1.09

7

2735

Montacute 

20

1.55

2 vacancies

680

North Cadbury 

16

0.79

1.5 vacancies

150

Norton Sub Hamdon 

36

0.63

0

694

Odcombe

no data

no data

no data

730

Seavington St Mary

30

0.32

no data

365

Shepton Beauchamp

18

0.05

1.25 vacancies

700

Somerton 

55

2.02

8

4706

South Petherton 

46

0.66

6

3200

St Marks Community Garden, Yeovil

15

0.1

0

no data

Stoke Sub Hamdon

59

1.6

4 vacancies

2004

Tatworth And Forton

23

0.75

0

2500

Tintinhull 

13

0.22

3 vacancies

426

West Chinnock 

19

1

0

564

West Coker 

9

0.11

15

2060

Wincanton 

28

0.44

26

4643

Winsham 

7

0.17

no data

749

Yeovil Without 

22

0.05

8

7260

Yeovil 

300

6.51

28

27,949

1518 plots

39.29 hectares

277 on waiting lists

 

Demand for allotment plots is growing nationally. South Somerset has both waiting lists and latent or “hidden” demand reflecting changing lifestyle priorities. People cite health considerations, improving diet, rising food prices, the superior taste, quality and freshness of home grown food, community building, environmental concerns and the therapeutic benefits of being active outside as reasons for needing access to land to grow food on. In recent years these factors have given allotment-gardening an increasingly wide appeal. With the addition of young growers, being trained now at many children’s centres and primary and secondary schools across the district, demand for land to grow food on is showing no signs of diminishing. Latent demand exists. Many do not appear on any waiting list because they don’t know how plots are allocated, are not yet skilled growers, are disabled or feel it’s pointless to join long lists. Demand may also be masked as a result of sub-dividing plots into halves, quarters or less.

Who is providing allotments in South Somerset?

13 allotments in South Somerset are owned by parish and town councils, but they are not the only provider. 6 are owned by charitable trusts and 4 by South Somerset District Council. The newest growing spaces - 339 new allotment plots established in the last 2-3 years on 12 sites - are mainly leased from small private landowners. Modern allotment sites are self-managed by devolved allotment associations. Sometimes the lease for the land will be held by the parish council and then each plot holder has an annual rolling lease with the allotment association. Trinity College Cambridge, Wincanton Sports Ground, Somerset County Council, Dillington Estate, Duchy of Cornwall and the National Trust also provide allotments.

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