APPLYING FOR AN ALLOTMENT
How do I get an allotment?
Anyone who lives in the Chesham area can apply for an allotment on either of our sites in the town – Cameron Road or Asheridge Road.
Contact Chesham Town Council on 01494 774842, or via the contact form and they can put you on the waiting list and advise about possible plots that might suit you.
How big is an allotment plot?
The size of an allotment is quoted in ‘poles’. A pole equals 16.5 feet. A typical plot on one of our sites will be either 5 or 10 poles. A 5 pole plot is approximately equal to 126.5 square metres or 151.3 square yards. This usually means that a plot will be 5m wide by 25m long.
How much does an allotment cost?
Asheridge Road site
£4.10 per pole/per 25.3 square metres, per annum
So in 2020, the cost of a five pole plot is £20.50 per annum
£3.90 per pole/per 25.3 square metres, per annum
So in 2020, the cost of a five pole plot is £19.50 per annum
Allotment rents are automatically due on October 1st of each year. Payments can be made at the Chesham Town Council offices. Alternatively, please send a cheque in the post quoting your plot number, or contact the council to get bank transfer details, ensuring your plot number is quoted as the reference.
What am I paying for?
Plot rents go towards Council costs for upkeep of the site, namely:
- mains water supply
- site security measures
- mowing of the paths
- upkeep of the fences and gates.
The finances of the Chesham Allotment Group (CAG) are completely separate from the annual rental fees and CAG is not financially underwritten by the Town Council.
CAG accounts are published each year by the Treasurer at the AGM.
Are there any additional costs?
Yes. You will be asked to provide a deposit at the start of your tenancy; this will include payment for a key.
Is there a waiting list?
Chesham Town Council operates a waiting list. Any offer of a tenancy will remain open for 14 days. Applicants should be aware that Chesham Town Council will only make TWO plot offers. If an applicant does not reply to any plot offer, they will be removed immediately from the waiting list.
If I do not accept the plot that I have been offered, can I go back on the waiting list?
Yes, we send two offer letters to those on the waiting list, and then the name is removed if they do not respond. Therefore, if the first offer is declined, there will be a second offer.
How are allotments allocated?
Once on the waiting list, applicants are allocated a plot on a strictly ‘first-come-first-served’ basis. When your name hits the top you’ll be asked to make contact and arrange viewings of the available plots.
What is the length of tenancy?
Allotment tenancies run annually from October 1st to September 30th and the tenancy is automatically renewed unless you inform the Town Council otherwise. There is no need to sign a new tenancy agreement each year unless any terms and conditions have changed.
What facilities do the allotments have?
- Each site has its own water supply with standpipes and tanks distributed throughout the site. Tenants are also encouraged to save rain water to preserve water supplies
- Our sites also have security fencing and lockable gates to prevent unauthorised access; tenants are provided with codes for the padlock
- The Allotment Cafe at Cameron Road hosts periodic social events take place
- A small car park exists at the main entrance to the site
- There is a toilet provided by CAG on the Cameron Road site
Are the allotments accessible to people with disabilities?
Special provision has been made for disabled gardeners at the Asheridge Road allotment site. Please contact Chesham Town Council for more details.
What condition will my plot be in?
The plot you inherit may be totally dug over and ready to cultivate or, more likely, be overgrown and ready for you to improve. It may have structures such as sheds and greenhouses already on it. You may also inherit mature fruit trees or bushes.
Before you take on a plot you may find our “What do I need to think about before I take on an Allotment” guide useful (link).
WORKING MY ALLOTMENT
It’s a bit harder than I thought – can I share my plot?
No – you can’t. The Allotment Tenancy Agreement specifically prohibits sub or under letting of plots. If you’re struggling with your plot for any reason please contact the Town Council who may be able to halve your plot.
Can my plot be taken away from me?
If you fail to cultivate your plot, keeping it tidy and weed free, you will be served a warning letter. This gives you fair time to sort out any issues. However, if the plot continues to be poorly cultivated you will be sent a second warning letter followed by a Notice to Quit and the plot will be repossessed. If you discover you are having difficulty with the workload, please contact Chesham Town Council.
What can I grow on my allotment?
Plots are provided primarily for the growth of fruit and vegetables. However, many people also grow flowers alongside their produce which helps with pollination and improves the look of the sites.
Generally, though, we are happy for you to grow whatever you want on your allotment within reason and within the law! We would just ask that you consider your neighbouring tenants when deciding what to plant.
Can I have a bonfire?
Bonfires are permitted for burning garden waste only. Currently tenants are permitted to have bonfires, weather permitting, every day after 6:00pm, or after 4.00pm during the short winter months. Fires must be attended to at all times with due care and regard to neighbours. We also suggest that you have a hosepipe or water bucket available as a safety measure.
Bonfires can cause concern for other plot holders and allotment site neighbours; therefore, we recommend you only have a bonfire if it is actually necessary, please see the Town Council’s Bonfire Guidelines (link) and ensure that you consider others when setting a bonfire and that you are check the bonfire pile for wildlife before lighting.
The allotment that I have been allocated is overgrown. Will you clear it for me?
No. You should inspect any plot offered to you and if you have any concerns with the condition of the plot, please let the Town Council know before accepting the tenancy.
There is a lot of rubbish on my plot. Will you take it away for me?
You must let us know before accepting your tenancy about any waste discovered on the plot. The Council can remove some large items of non-organic waste if necessary by prior agreement, but the decision to do this is made on a case by case basis. When clearing your plot, it might be that you unearth a lot of waste. The Council might deem it as an unreasonable amount for you to clear and a decision is made on a case by case basis.
Do I need to apply for permission to put up a shed, greenhouse or polytunnel on my plot?
Yes, please reply in writing to Chesham Town Council stating the size of the shed and giving a map of its location on the plot.
Do I need to apply for permission to plant fruit frees on my plot?
I have recently taken on a plot which has existing fruit trees on it. Can I cut these down?
No. If there are existing fruit trees or structures, please contact us prior to removing them. The decision is made on a case by case basis.
Is water provided on site?
Water is provided on all our sites, and your rent goes toward paying for this amenity. However, the use of a hose pipe to directly water the plot is not permitted. A hosepipe may be used to refill a water butt only.
All tenants are encouraged to collect their own rainwater. This is especially important during periods of drought. Many tenants also get very creative in their ways of collecting water, erecting a roof structure made out of corrugated plastic with guttering and water buckets.
The plot allocated to me is too large. Can I have a smaller one?
If your plot is 125m2 or larger, then we could divide it, let the other half and amend your annual rent. However, if your plot size is smaller than 125m2 we would need to transfer you to another plot when the first one becomes available. The minimum plot size that we have is 50m2, although we no longer create new 50m2 plots as they are deemed too small.
The plot allocated to me is too small. Can I have a larger one?
Yes, we can transfer you to a larger plot once it becomes available.
Can I keep animals or bees on my plot?
No. Current site rules do not allow the keeping of any animals or bees. Dogs are welcome at allotment sites with you, on a lead and supervised at all times. Please pick up any dog mess and dispose of it off-site.
Where can I get good quality and reasonable priced materials for the allotment?
There are many local garden centres that have a ;