Allotments are very much in demand these days and Whitemoor Allotments is one of the most popular sites in Nottingham. You are welcome to join the waiting list for a plot, though please be prepared to wait for one to become available as only a few are given up each year. Please call into the allotment shop on a Saturday morning (11.00 – 12.30) to put your name on the list. Before you do, please read the following as an allotment is a big commitment!
What size are the plots?
Our plots come in various shapes and sizes, the biggest of which are around 600 square yards (or approx 500 square metres), though there are a small number of gardens where full size plots have been divided up to make them easier to manage, including half and quarter size plots.
Taking on an allotment is a big commitment and takes a lot of time and effort to maintain. It’s a requirement of the tenancy agreement that at least 50% of the area of the plot is cultivated for vegetable and fruit growing and that the hedges around the perimeter of each plot are regularly trimmed. Plots should also be kept tidy, regularly weeded and grass cut. There are regular inspections of all the plots to check that tenants are meeting these conditions. If you fail the inspections there is a risk of eviction.
Bear in mind that when you take on a plot, the reason it’s been given up is most likely that it became too much to manage for the previous tenant, so it may well be overgrown and with delapidated shed and other structures. So you may well have a big job to do to clear the plot and get it back into a reasonable condition before you can start growing some crops. It’s much easier if you share the workload with friends or relatives rather than attempting it yourself.
What’s the cost?
The annual rent for a plot is £0.13 per square metre, plus a charge for mains water. A full size plot costs about £100 per year in total (less than £2 a week). There is a 25% discount for retired people or those on a benefit or universal credit. Rents are due in October each year. This rental amount is subject to change.
You also need to factor in the cost of buying seeds, plants, compost, equipment (including tools to cut the hedges and grass) and structures, if you want a new shed or greenhouse for example.
Do talk to the volunteers in the shop, they will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about having an allotment as they are all Whitemoor gardeners themselves. Once you are on the waiting list, we will let you know when vacant plots become available to view. We keep a current copy of the waiting list on the noticeboard outside the shop.
Typically we’ll invite a number of people along to view the vacant plots, then ask you to choose which ones you like, then we’ll allocate them according to your position on the waiting list (those waiting longest are given priority). Sometimes there are opportunities to join a shared plot, when an existing tenant is looking for one or more co-gardeners and this is a good way to start, particularly if you’ve not had an allotment before.
Please tell us if your circumstances change and you no longer wish to be on the waiting list so we know not to contact you any further. Thanks for your interest in Whitemoor Allotments.
Here are the details of the waiting list, allocations policy and a copy of the Tenancy Agreement you’ll need to sign when you take on a plot.
WHITEMOOR WAITING LIST AND ALLOCATIONS POLICY
- Applying for a plot and joining the waiting list
Anyone can apply for a plot by completing an application form in person at the shop on Saturday morning between 10.00am and 12.00 midday. There is normally a waiting list; application forms will be kept on file and applicants will be notified when plots become available.
- Being removed from the waiting list
Applicants will be removed from the waiting list when one of the following happens:
- They inform the association they no longer want to be considered for a plot at Whitemoor.
- They take on a tenancy of a plot.
- They do not respond to a request from the association to confirm that they still want their details to remain on file.
Applicants who have been removed can reapply at any time by completing a new application form at the shop. They will be deemed to have joining the waiting list on the date of reapplication; this will not be backdated to the date they previously joined.
- Viewing of vacant plots
Where several plots are vacant at once, the association will contact everyone on the waiting list and invite them to a group viewing, which will usually take place on a Saturday morning. At the viewing, applicants will be invited to express a preference for one or more of the vacant plots. Where possible, alternative viewing arrangements will be made on request for any applicants unable to make the group viewing, but this will depend on Whitemoor volunteers’ availability and so cannot be guaranteed.
Where a single plot is available, either a group viewing will be arranged as above, or the longest-waiting applicant will be invited to view the plot.
- Allocation of vacant plots
Plots will be allocated to applicants who have attended a viewing and expressed a preference for the plot in question, in order of waiting list application date. This is to reduce the incidence of offers being turned down and ensure that plots are let as quickly as possible, while retaining priority for those waiting longest.
- If you already have a plot on Whitemoor
You and your immediate family members can only hold a tenancy for one plot at a time. If you would like to transfer to a different plot, you should contact the Tenancy Working Group directly to discuss your needs and what suitable alternative plots are available. The Management Committee needs to agree to the transfer before it can happen.
If you are a joint tenant (that is, you share your plot with one or more other tenants) and you have all agreed that you should take over the plot as a sole tenant, this can happen at the next rent-taking in October as long as you have been a joint tenant for at least 12 months.
1st October 2020 to 30th September 2021
Please read this agreement carefully, as it sets out your rights and obligations as a tenant on the Whitemoor site. This agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and Whitemoor Garden Holders Co-operative Society (WGCS). By signing it, you agree to abide by all the following rules:
- You must respect and obey the constitution and rules of Whitemoor Garden Holders Co-operative Society (WGCS). You must also comply with the rules and regulations made from time to time by the Society’s landlords (Nottingham City Council) under the Allotments Act and any amending legislation.
- Your rent for this 12 month tenancy is due on 1st October, and you must pay it in full by 31st October. A £30 late payment fee will be charged for payments made after this date. The rent includes rates, water charges and any other payments which result from your occupation of your allotment. It also includes a £1 subscription fee for membership of WGCS. All tenants named on this agreement will be members of WGCS and will be entitled to vote at General Meetings.
- You must also pay a refundable deposit at a rate set by the Committee, for all keys to the main gate at the point they are issued to you. This deposit will be returned to you in full when you hand your main gate key(s) back to the Committee.
- WGCS and Nottingham City Council reserve to themselves, their officers or persons authorised by them the right to enter your allotment at all reasonable times to examine its state and condition, to attend an emergency situation or to carry out occasional maintenance or improvement works
- Cultivation: You must keep your allotment in a tidy and properly cultivated state, so that it is immediately relettable by the Committee if it becomes vacant. Proper cultivation means the cultivation of fruit or vegetable crops over a minimum of 50% of the allotment. It is not enough merely to maintain the plot. If the plot is being reclaimed it must show progress.
- Use of plot: You must use your allotment only as an allotment garden. This means you must use it wholly or mainly to grow crops for consumption by you and your family. You must not carry out any trade or business there, in accordance with the provision of the Smallholdings and Allotments Act and any amending legislation. You must not allow any earth, gravel or minerals to be removed from your allotment. You must not use it for storing items that are not intended for use on the allotment.
- Livestock: Chickens (hens) and bees may be kept on allotments with the prior approval of the Committee. No cockerels may be kept. Allotment holders wishing to keep chickens or bees must supply the Secretary with a duplicate key to their allotment. Chickens must be kept in appropriate protective pens, and must be treated humanely, following RSPCA guidelines (available in the shop). No other livestock may be kept on site.
- Buildings and structures: Any buildings on your allotment must be kept in good, safe condition. You may not erect any structure without prior permission from the Committee, and any new structure must not shade a neighbouring plot. No building or structure may be used as a dwelling, garage, workshop or any purpose not related to the cultivation of the allotment.
- Hedges: You must maintain the hedges and any fences bordering your allotment. You must not remove any hedge or part of a hedge without the prior agreement of the Committee. You must keep your hedges to a maximum height of 5’ 6” and must make sure they do not encroach into the lanes, as this can cause damage to cars and passers-by. If you do not do this and as a result your hedge is trimmed by WGCS, you may be charged. You must also keep your hedge bottoms which face the lane tidy.
- Gate: You must keep your allotment gate in good repair and make sure it has a lock and that the plot number is visible. Your gate must be inward opening and kept locked when you are not there. You must not add any gate (including installing widened or double gates) without getting the Committee’s permission first.
- Health & Safety: You may only use chemicals permitted by law on your allotment. You must not keep any unduly flammable, toxic, explosive, radioactive or other dangerous materials on the allotment. You must not do anything which may result in your plot or the site becoming contaminated or polluted.
- Trees: You must not, without permission, cut down or prune any trees except fruit trees. No tree may be planted that will overshadow a neighbouring allotment.
- Bonfires: You may burn dry wood and plant matter on your plot, as long as any breeze is blowing away from neighbouring properties and no nuisance is caused to others. Your bonfire must be kept under control and must not cause black or excessive smoke. You may not bring any materials onto your plot from outside the site to burn. If a bonfire is lit at night, the Fire Brigade must be informed in advance. Any stove must burn only smokeless fuels. You must abide by any temporary bonfire ban in place.
Ending your tenancy:
- You can end your tenancy at any time during the year by telling a Committee member in writing that you want to give up your allotment. The Committee will agree a date with you for your tenancy to end.
- WGCS may end your tenancy early (by a majority vote of the Committee) and take back your plot if:
- the rent, or part of the rent is in arrears for 40 days or more, whether or not WGCS has made a formal demand for it;
- you have broken any of the rules in this tenancy agreement, and have not put things right within a reasonable period after being asked to do so;
- WGCS is dissolved.
- If any of the above apply and subject to rule 18 below, WGCS may give you 1 month Notice to Quit, and your tenancy will end when the Notice expires. You may appeal within 14 days of receiving the Notice to Quit. The committee (or sub-committee) will then meet with you on your plot and hear your appeal. The subsequent decision of the committee will be final.
- This tenancy lasts for 12 months and will end automatically on the 31st October. There is no automatic right to renewal. If you consistently fail plot inspections and do not take reasonable steps to rectify this when notified, instead of giving you a Notice to Quit WGCS may decide not to renew your tenancy at the next October rent-taking. There is no right of appeal in this situation.
- Some situations are so serious that if they occur on site, WGCS (by a majority vote of the Committee) reserves the right to end your tenancy and take back your plot. In these cases, the Committee will write to you to set out the grounds for its decision. These situations are as follows:
- If you or someone you are responsible for assaults another person, either verbally or physically.
- If you or someone you are responsible for deliberately damages WGCS property, the property of the landlord or the property of another person.
- If you or someone you are responsible for shows prejudice or is abusive towards another person on the grounds of gender, sexuality, age, religion, race or disability.
- If you or someone you are responsible for uses the plot or site to carry out any criminal activity.
- When your tenancy ends, any buildings, structures and items which you have left on your plot will become the property of WGCS. Tools will be stored for 14 days for collection before being disposed of. You will be notified of any property being stored, and the date it will be disposed of if not collected. You must return all site keys to a member of the Committee and must remove any padlock on your allotment gate or give the key to a member of the Committee to allow access. You must make sure the plot is tidy, litter-free and in a relettable condition.
Transferring your tenancy:
- You cannot sublet, transfer or pass this tenancy to someone else without the prior agreement of the Committee, according to the plot allocation/transfer policy in force at the time. The Committee will decide this by majority vote and will arrange for you and the other person to sign the necessary documents; any transfer will not be effective until this has happened.
- You cannot join two allotments together into one, or remove any boundary without prior agreement of the Committee. You cannot sell your allotment, as the land remains the property of Nottingham City Council.
General site rules:
- Dogs: Dogs must be kept on a lead when in the avenues, and you must clean up after your dog. You must make sure that your dog does not cause a nuisance to other plotholders and does not go onto their plots without their agreement. Any dog not kept under control or which causes a nuisance may be barred from the site.
- Water: You may use water from the standpipes to fill water butts or water your allotment only, and must show consideration for others waiting to use the standpipe. You must be actively watering when using a hosepipe and must not waste water; sprinklers may not be used. You must not remove any hose connectors or tap fittings from the standpipes.
- Vehicles/deliveries: You may not park your vehicle in the avenue outside your plot, except to load or unload items. You must not park for longer than necessary to do this, except where prior agreement has been made with the Committee, and must move your vehicle when asked to allow other people access. You must obey a 5mph speed limit when driving on the site; breaking the speed limit may result in permission to bring your vehicle onto the site being withdrawn. You may not store any vehicles on your plot or on the site. Manure deliveries may be stored temporarily in the avenue, but you must let the Committee know in advance and must move it within 24 hours where possible.
- Car parks: From time to time WGCS will require access for large delivery vehicles or use of the car park space. At these times there may be a temporary no parking request, which you should respect.
- Site security: You must maintain site security by keeping the main site gates locked at all times, unless otherwise directed by notice. You must not make copies of the main site gate keys or give them to any non-tenant without prior permission.
- Trespassing: You must not enter an allotment that is not yours without the permission of the tenant or the Committee, apart from in an emergency such as fire or danger to someone’s wellbeing. You must not remove anything without prior permission from another allotment, whether tenanted or vacant at the time.
- Nuisance: You must consider the wellbeing of other people on the site and in neighbouring houses, and must not do or allow anything on your plot which could be a nuisance, annoyance or danger to others or which is against the law. You must not bring any rubbish onto the site, and in particular you must not bring any carpets onto the site or use them on your allotment.
- Disputes: Where a dispute or complaint cannot be resolved amicably between the parties involved, it will be resolved through the WGCS Complaints Policy in force at the time.