Second bid to turn field on the edge of Bristol into allotments and 80-space car park

600 people have already signed up for allotments at the site, which cost more than council allotments
Roots Allotments hope to repeat the success of their allotment on the outskirts of BathRoots Allotments hope to repeat the success of their allotment on the outskirts of Bath
Roots Allotments hope to repeat the success of their allotment on the outskirts of Bath

An allotment company is applying again to turn a field on the edge of a village near Bristol into allotments after its plans were rejected by the council.

Roots Allotments’ plans to set up their third allotment site in the village of Abbots Leigh has been highly controversial locally, as was their decision to apply for a certificate of lawfulness instead of planning permission.

Several councillors on North Somerset Council said they wanted the company to apply for full planning permission, which would have allowed the council to have more control over the development, but Roots said that, because they were only changing a piece of land from one agricultural use to another, they were able to apply for the certificate of lawfulness.

The council’s planning committee voted against granting the certificate, however, stating that plans to lay matting for an 80-space car park to serve the 700 the allotments constituted development and meant it would need full planning permission.

Now Roots has applied again for a certificate of lawfulness — this time just for the allotments themselves.

Roots also runs the Tuckers Meadow allotments near BathRoots also runs the Tuckers Meadow allotments near Bath
Roots also runs the Tuckers Meadow allotments near Bath

In a letter submitted with the application, Andrew Ross of planning consultants Tunley said: “We expect it to be common ground as part of any possible future appeal proceedings that the use of land for allotments is not in dispute, and indeed it would be irrational and unreasonable for any different decision to be reached, or position to be taken.

“Notwithstanding any remaining concerns about any other aspects of the proposals, there is an abundance of clarity that allotment use does not comprise development, or a material change of use, for which planning permission is required. The council should therefore be capable of promptly determining this revised application and issuing a certificate accordingly.”

Mr Ross added: “The application site for this application comprises a smaller area of land from that included in the previous application, and accordingly will accommodate a smaller number of proposed allotment plots, reflecting some previous community and Council concerns raised about the scale of the proposal in this location.”

600 people have already signed up for allotments at the site, which cost more than council allotments — at £9.99 to £34.99 a month — but include seeds, courses, and access to tools.

The council will aim to decide whether to now grant the certificate of lawfulness by 17 October.

You can view and comment on the application here.