Fairacres Road Allotment Association Rules

Approved Mar 2017

  1. The Allotment Association leases the allotment site from the Oxford City Council and, as its tenant, must adhere to the Council’s Allotment Rules. If there is a material breach of these, the Council may (after warnings and other procedures have taken place) end the Tenancy Agreement and give the Association one month’s notice to quit the site.
  2. The following Rules are, therefore, based on those laid down by the Oxford City Council. The Executive Committee of the Allotment Association will be expected to take action against any member of the Association who is in breach of the Rules. Plot-holders are, therefore, requested to report to a member of the committee -any apparent contravention(s) of the Constitution and Rules.  However, they are also designed to ensure members of the Association are able to enjoy working on their plots in peace while understanding both their privileges and responsibilities.
  3. The Allotment Association is obliged to take out Public Liability Insurance (PLI) to cover the Association, its Officers and Members for any accidental damage or injury for which they might legally be held liable. All allotment holders must, therefore, pay a share of the Association’s affiliation dues to the Oxford Federation of Allotment Association which organises the PLI.
  4. Members
    • Members of the Association are plot-holders who have paid the rent for their plot and their share of the fees and premiums for the current year. Plot-holders who are assisted by Joint Members or associates (e.g. spouses, partners, family members or friends, etc) must register with the Secretary the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the joint member so that they are listed as members of Association.
    • All Members of the Association must inform the Membership Secretary in writing of any change in their address or telephone numbers.
    • Only Association members, associates, individuals under the supervision of a member and authorized persons are allowed on the allotment site.
    • The Executive Committee will normally let allotments according to the applicant’s position on the waiting list held by the Membership Secretary. No discrimination on grounds of age, religion, ethnic origin, gender or disability will be practised.  First refusal will, however, be given to existing plot-holders who have given prior notice to the Membership Secretary of a wish to increase their holding. This will be at the discretion of the Executive Committee, and provided the original plot is in good condition and has been held for a reasonable time.  Plot-holders who wish to expand beyond five poles will go to the end of the waiting list.
    • No plot-holder may hold more than five poles of the Association’s land.
    • A plot-holder may not sublet his/her plot(s) or part of it, nor transfer their plot to another plot-holder or other person.
    • The Allotment Association shall not be responsible for any injuries, however caused, incurred by plot-holders, their families, friends or visitors whilst on the allotment site, or for any damage to, or loss of, personal property.
    • Any dispute between two or more Members of the Association or between a member of the Association and the Chair, Secretary or Treasurer in relation to matters falling within their jurisdiction shall be referred to the Executive Committee whose decision on such matters shall be final.
    • Any plot-holder stealing tools, produce or other articles belonging to another plot holder or receiving such, knowing it to have been stolen, or who maliciously damages the property of the Association or that of another plot holder will be liable to summary eviction and confiscation of their crops
  1. Allotment Charges
    • All plot-holders must pay their rent to the Treasurer within the first two months of the financial year. Failure to pay rent will render the plot-holder liable to eviction.  Rent is calculated at a basic charge per pole.
    • Plot-holders must, when joining, pay a deposit for the plot allocated, the amount to be decided from time-to-time by the Executive Committee. Payment of the deposit is waived if, in the judgment of the Executive Committee, the plot is in a poor state of cultivation.  The deposit is refundable, provided the plot is left in a good condition when it is relinquished.
    • Plot-holders are informed of the number to the padlock to the gate and the shed. This number will be changed from time-to-time and Members will be notified accordingly.
    • Plot-holders, are requested to use water responsibly.  The water is metered and is a charge to the Allotment Association. The cost of water can constitute a substantial proportion of the allotment rent. (Plot holders are charged for water – it is one of the elements in the rent calculation.)
  1. Security
    • The gate to the allotment site must be kept closed and locked at all times.
    • Plot-holders using the Association shed must also ensure that the padlock is secured when the shed is not being used, whether there are other members on the site or not.
    • Hedges, netting, fences or other barriers securing the boundary of the site must not be tampered with except to strengthen or repair them.
  1. Plot-holders may:
  • Use the Association’s equipment stored in the site shed but at their own risk and in adherence to the rules for its use. Users will be responsible for any damage done to the equipment.  Guidelines for its use will be found in the shed.
  • Use the water and hosepipes free of charge. However, hose pipes must be hand-held and not left unattended; nor used for long periods when other plot-holders are waiting to use them or in such a way as to inconvenience other plot-holders.
  • Bring their children to the site. Children are very welcome to accompany their parents who are responsible for their good behaviour.  Children under 14 are not allowed on site if unaccompanied by a responsible adult.  Parents are particularly requested not to allow their children to play with the water or the hose pipes; or to run onto neighbouring
  • Bring their own dog to the site, provided it is on a leash and is kept under control. Dogs not belonging to members are not allowed.
  • Grow any variety of vegetable, flowers, herbs or fruit (subject to national legislation) on their plots. Fruit trees may not be planted on the site without the permission of the Executive Committee.
  • Store their own equipment in the Association’s shed at their own risk provided there is sufficient space for it and it is clearly labeled.
  • Arrange for manure, compost, etc. to be delivered on to the site, provided the delivery vehicle unloads immediately and is not left parked on the site, the gates are closed while it is on site and the plot-holder is responsible for any damage that may be done by the delivery vehicle. The plot holder must be present at all times.
  1. Plot-holders are responsible for:
  • Ensuring that their plots are kept tidy, free from weeds and in a good state of cultivation and fertility. Any plot-holder who, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, is not cultivating their plot, is prejudicing the fertility of the land or allowing weeds to seed themselves on to paths or other plots may be liable to eviction;
  • Maintaining, together with neighbouringplot-holders, a footpath of not less than twenty-four inches/60cm in width along the edge of each plot, which must be mown, trimmed and kept free of weeds and obstructions.
  • Ensuring that within the boundary of, or adjacent to his/her allotment all hedges are properly cut and trimmed to approximately 2 metres at least once a year, verges are kept properly cut and weeded, ditches, drains and watercourses properly cleaned and maintained;
  • Ensuring that their plot is clearly numbered in accordance with the Association’s records and keeping within its boundaries. The use of barbed wire, fencing or other barriers to indicate plot boundaries is not allowed;
  • Burning their own waste material on their own plot and disposing of their own uncompostable or incombustible waste.
  1. General use of site
  • Plot-holders may not use their plot or the allotment site for any other purpose other than as an allotment garden; nor may they use their plot for any trade or business or sell any surplus crops to the public on or immediately outside the site.
  • Plot-holders may not deposit refuse or building materials on their plot or elsewhere on the site nor remove any timber, mineral, gravel, sand, earth or clay from the site.
  • Petrol, oil, lubricants or other inflammable liquids must only be stored in the Allotment shed as authorizedby the Association.
  • Although plot-holders are not required to use totally organic methods on their plots, they are requested to limit as much as practicable their use of weed-killers, insecticides, slug repellants and other chemicals. Any such chemicals must be stored securely if left on the site and steps must be taken to ensure that the chemical does not spread on to or affect other plots in any way.
  • No sheds or other buildings may be erected on the Allotments without the written consent of the Executive Committee which will be subject to the terms of the Lease and to the Council’s prior approval as to the siteing.
  • Any plot-holder found to have damaged, removed or destroyed any footpaths, drainage ditches, boundary hedges or fences or to have removed, felled or lopped existing trees, either on the site or immediately outside its boundaries without written authorisationfrom the Executive Committee, will be liable to the Association for the full cost of repair or replacement.
  • Manure temporarily deposited on a main pathway must not cause an obstruction and must be removed within forty-eight hours.
  • For reasons of hygiene the cleaning of boots, garden implements and produce in water tanks is prohibited.
  • Cars may not be parked on the allotment site.
  • A plot-holder may not enter onto another member’s plot, borrow his/her tools without permission, or use other members’ plots as short-cuts for themselves or for hose pipes.
  1. Bonfires
  • Bonfires must not cause any annoyance to nearby residents or other plot-holders (Section 79(1)b of the Environmental Protection Act 1990)
  • Fires may only be lit if there is no risk of smoke blowing towards the neighbouring houses. There are to be no bonfires on Bank or Public Holidays.
  • Bonfires shall be supervised and attended at all times and must be restricted to the plot-holder’s own allotment(s) or such area as may be designated by the Executive Committee.
  • Bonfires must not be positioned within four feet/1.2 meters of any fencing, hedging, shed or other building or within two feet/60cm of a pathway or roadway.
  • No household rubbish, rubber, plastic (including bottles and bags), foam, tyres or oils shall be burnt on site.
  • Any plot-holder found to be causing a smoke nuisance by the Environmental Health Department of the City Council and/or a member the Executive Committee of the Association or otherwise in breach of this Code of Practice may have their allotment tenancy terminated.
  1. Cultivation
  • All allotments shall be kept in a state of active cultivation – at any time at least 75% of any allotment shall show evidence of preparation or crop production. Failure to maintain active cultivation may result in the plotholder being asked to leave or not being offered the opportunity to renew their membership.
  • If an allotment holder receives three written warnings concerning their allotment over the period of two years, albeit that they have taken remedial action in each case, should another warning be merited then:-
    1. Where no alternative exists they will be given notice to quit
    2. Where the allotment is of sufficient size to make two smaller plots they should be given the option of relinquishing one half of their plot. Should they refuse this offer (1) above shall apply.
    3. Where the allotment holder opts to downsize they may apply to be placed on the list for expansion if their plot is maintained in good order for a period of one year.
  1. The opinion of the Executive Committee shall be final as to the interpretation of the Constitution and Rules.
  1. The Executive Committee is empowered to evict a plot-holder for any serious or persistent contravention of the Conditions and Rules or for any other actions which it considers to be seriously detrimental to the interests of the Association.
  1. A plot-holder shall be warned orally, by mail or through electronic communication, by a member of the Executive Committee, of any minor infringement(s) of the Constitution and Rules and if they fail within a reasonable period to heed the warning, a written warning issued. If they fail to heed a written warning the plot-holder concerned shall be liable to eviction.

Approved by the Annual General Meeting held in March 2017