Allotment tenant guidelines
The Guidelines include important information. Please take time to read them carefully.
The Council currently has over 1,100 people waiting for a stock of around 650 allotments. It is therefore essential that our allotments are in full use wherever possible.
Any vacated large plots will be split into regular plots wherever possible. Existing tenants can only take on additional plots if the plot has been "derelict" for at least 2 years and/or Reps have tried to let the plot at least 3 times to prospective new tenants.
At least 75% of the allotment must be under the active cultivation of vegetables and fruits, with the remaining 25% for sheds, paths, composting, or grassed areas.
New tenants must work to the following targets:
- 25% of the plot to be cleared and cultivated within 3 months.
- 50% to be cleared by 6 months, 100% cultivation by 12 months.
If the New Tenant, not less than 3 months after commencement of the tenancy, has not observed the above conditions, an Eviction Notice can be issued.
All Tenants can obtain growing advice from the Allotment Officer, Site Reps, Associations, or from Let's Grow Preston. Professional growing advice is also freely available online at:
To get a plot to a good standard, you'll need at least two sessions of two/three hours, every week. If you cannot commit to this amount of time, please think carefully about taking a plot on.
- All plots must show a prominent plot number. Please make this your first job.
- Trespass/Theft (including borrowing, recycling, foraging, etc.) from other allotments, including vacant plots, will lead to the loss of your tenancy.
- Always follow instructions about site security and close and lock gates.
- Do not leave power tools or valuable equipment on site.
- No chainsaw work, working at heights, or herbicide/pesticide applications to take place on Council Managed land, including car parks, footpaths, perimeters etc. without the prior agreement of the Allotment Officer.
- New Tenancies. The Tenancy Agreement and Payment must be signed and returned to the Parks Office within 14 days, or the offer of the Allotment will be withdrawn.
- Payment for your Allotment. Each tenant is responsible for payment of rent within 40 days of 1 January, whether legally demanded or not. Payments must be made by 10 February at the latest. If rent is not received by 10 Feb, a 1 month Eviction Notice will be issued. This is to allow time to remove any crops, or tools and equipment only.
A greenhouse and/or polytunnel and a shed can be erected using the following measurements. Permission must be sought from the Allotment Officer for more than one shed per plot.
- Length - maximum 10ft 0ins (3.1m)
- Width - maximum 8ft 0ins (2.4m)
- Height - maximum 8ft 6in to ridge (2.6m)
- Length - maximum 20ft 0ins (6.2 m)
- Width - maximum 12ft 0ins (3.7m)
- Height - maximum 8ft 6ins to ridge (2.6m)
All Structures must be kept in a safe state of maintenance and repair.
As a Council, we are working hard to keep sites free from hazard. All vacant plots will be inspected for hazards before letting. If you take on a plot and find Asbestos, (usually in the form of cementised corrugated sheeting) or are concerned about any material you find on your plot, contact the Council Allotment Officer as soon as possible. They will reinspect and sign/tape off any potential hazards, advise on action, and arrange removal as necessary. Please do not dump on site and don't put in the skip.
The Allotment Officer/Site Representative will inspect plots on a regular basis. Tenants will be contacted by letter if the plot is in an unsatisfactory condition.
Warning 1 (W1) gives 21 days to make good. Warning 2 (W2) gives an additional, and final, 7 days to comply.
If an acceptable standard is achieved during (W1) and (W2) the plot will be monitored in the normal way, but both warning letters will stand for 12 months after issue.
If the tenant has extenuating circumstances, they should contact the Site Rep or the Allotment Officer as soon as possible.
If the plot has not been cultivated to the required level after the W2, a 1 Month Notice of Termination Notice to Quit (NTQ) will be issued.
If a tenancy is terminated under the NTQ no compensation is payable. The NTQ is not a "last chance" to tidy up. All crops/equipment must be removed during this period, or they become the property of the Council.
All 8 PCC sites are connected to the mains water supply. Water charges are currently the responsibility of the Council. The water will be turned on late March/early April and turned off late October, depending on the weather. Please use this resource responsibly.
Sprinklers are not allowed on site and hoses should not be left unattended.
Washing of vehicles using the Council water supply is not allowed.
All tenants should collect rainwater from greenhouses/sheds wherever possible.
Bonfires on all sites are banned between 1 June and 30 September.
This is because of issues with air quality, smoke, climate change, and fire risks.
Allotment bonfires are the cause of many complaints. Repeated complaints may result in the termination of a tenancy. If a bonfire is necessary, observe the following guidance:
Produce a hot quick fire using dry materials. Do not burn green waste or non-organic matter. Accelerants such as petrol, oil or paraffin must never be used.
Be aware of wind direction and avoid smoke causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties, roads, or tenants. Do not light fires within an hour of sunset or within 5 metres of a structure. Never leave a fire unattended and ensure access to water in case the fire gets out of control.
If a complaint is received the fire must be extinguished immediately.
Air Rifles, Firearms, Cross/Archery bows, Fireworks/Pyrotechnics
None of the above shall be allowed on land without the permission of the landowner, in this case PCC. There is a ban on all fireworks/pyrotechnics, air rifles, bows or firearms on all sites without permission and licence from PCC. Any tenant who breaches these rules will immediately be issued a Notice to Quit and the Police will be informed.
Currently all sites (excluding Haslam) receive at least 2 skips per year. Skips must not be filled past the top level. Hazardous waste or contaminants including, tyres, asbestos, batteries, gas bottles, fluorescent tubes, TV's or monitors, cannot go in skips. If you take on a new plot and are concerned, check with your Site Rep, or the Allotment Officer.
As a simple rule - If you're not sure, don't put it in!
The keeping of livestock (Hens and/or Bees) is not allowed without the written consent of the council. Suitability of site, length of time on your allotment, animal welfare, stocking densities, stock hygiene, appropriate training, flood risk, and insurances, will all be considered by the Allotment Officer prior to the issuing of consent.
If a tenant decides to fence off a plot, the fence should be safe, regularly maintained and not impede communal pathways. The maximum height is 1.5m. Barbed/razor wire or similar hazardous material is not allowed. Live Willow "Fedges" are not allowed.
All tenants are responsible for hedges on the boundary of their allotments unless an external boundary managed by PCC. Vegetation should be cut back so as not to encroach on footpaths or communal side paths. Hedges should be pruned regularly.
to a height of no more than 2 metres (6 feet 6"). Willow "Fedges" are not allowed on site and any Willow tree species on allotments should be removed.
All fruit trees must be pruned and kept to under 4 metres (13 feet). All other trees and hedges should be pruned annually to a height of no more than 2 metres (6 feet 6").
These are the tenant's responsibility & should be kept clear to a width of 90cm. This allows the use of a wheelbarrow and access for inspections.
The use of old carpets as ground cover is prohibited. Carpets must not to be brought to site. Modern carpets contain many chemicals and contaminate the soil as they decay. Existing carpets should be removed wherever possible.
Under 16's must be supervised at all times on all PCC allotment sites.
Must be on a lead on all PCC areas and shared spaces. If tenants have dogs off lead on their allotment, the plot must be securely fenced and gated. All fouling must be removed immediately from all areas.
Double Glazing Units
Must not to be brought onto sites, and existing units should be removed as soon as possible. They are a considerable hazard, especially when old, and are extremely difficult and costly to dispose of.
Must not be brought onto site. Tyres are hazardous waste and contain carcinogens.They are also expensive to remove and dispose of. If you take on a plot and find tyres, contact the Allotment Officer to arrange for removal.
Baths/White Goods/Kitchen Units
Baths, bathroom furniture, kitchen units or white goods, (fridges/freezers) should not be brought to site. They contaminate the land as they decay or are damaged. Any already on site should be removed at the earliest opportunity.
Overnight parties, stays, or any other form of camping, is not allowed on any PCC site. Drunkenness on site leading to a breach of tenancy by causing nuisance to other tenants, will lead to further action and may lead to a loss of tenancy.
Theft and Trespass
Do not enter another tenant's plot without permission. This is trespass and you may be evicted. Do not enter any vacant plots to "Forage, Borrow or Recycle" without the permission of the Allotment Officer or Site Rep.
Put simply, this is theft, and may lead to eviction.
Everyone involved with allotments has a duty of care to ensure that all sites are as safe as is reasonably practical. This includes the closing & locking of gates. Not doing so after previous warnings may result in the loss of your tenancy.
Valuable items, especially strimmers, mowers, and power tools, should not be left on site as allotments are secluded and open to theft & trespass. Many tenants no longer lock sheds as the damage done by trespassers often costs more than any items that are stolen.
Report any thefts to the police on 101 and get a crime reference number.
Hazards, Health and Safety
The Council make regular inspections of all sites and are responsible for areas not covered by tenancies on site, excluding Assoc. Structures. The inspections enable hazards to be identified, severity assessed, and a response developed. If a tenant discovers a hazard, it should be reported to the Allotment Officer or Site Rep as soon as possible.
Tenants are responsible for Health and Safety relating to structures, paths, fencing, bonfires, compost/manure heaps, and pesticides/herbicides, on their own plots.
Tenants also have responsibility for the health and safety of persons visiting their plot.
Associations are responsible for their structures, shops, and storage containers.
All accelerants, fuels, herbicides and pesticides, should be stored and locked away in the appropriate containers.
A tenancy may be terminated if the tenant fails to comply with action necessary to maintain or improve health and safety on sites & plots.
Additional advice on health and safety is available from the Allotments Officer, Site Reps, Association, or the National Allotment Society website. There is also a wealth of information on the Government HSE website.
Hygiene, Disease and Cleanliness
After the Pandemic, we have all become more aware of the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. At the very least, ensure you wash your hands well after visiting site, and before eating, drinking, or smoking.
Ensure that produce is washed and cleaned before eating and be aware of the symptoms for E-coli, Legionella, Lyme's and Weil's disease.
Information about diseases and illnesses associated with gardening and allotments is widely available on the National Allot Society, RHS, and NHS, web sites.
Preston City Council will use your information for Allotment management purposes only, and in a manner compatible with the GDPR. Any disclosures or sharing of information will only take place were permitted by law. For further information please see our Parks and Streetscene Privacy Notice.