Monday 11 February 2019

The status of allotments held in trust

New in the Law Society Gazette, a detailed article on "The status of allotments".

As I understand it, putting it into simple language: there's been a new legal ruling that affects council allotments. If a local council was long ago given allotment land with words such as "to be held in trust as allotments for the labouring poor", then that purpose has to be stuck to by the council.

Very obvious, you might think. But apparently there have been claims from some council officials that 'charitable trusts on allotment land' was something abolished long ago. It wasn't, and the new ruling says: "The 1908 Act contained no express revocation of such trusts, its provisions did not prevent such trusts from continuing".

Why is this important? Because if land is "held in trust" then it can't be sold off. Nor can the council jack up the rents so high that poor people in a low-paid job can no longer afford to have a local allotment.

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