The council currently has a very limited supply of allotment plots in Dunbar, North Berwick and Tranent and these are managed by a combination of associations and direct council control. An extremely well run association covers the facility in Musselburgh but, like the council they have a lengthy waiting list and a low annual turnover.
The council currently has a draft Allotment and Food Growing Strategy that has been developed in response to the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act. The Scottish Government will bring forward the legislation contained within Part 9 of the Act in due course and when that legislation comes into force the council will require to meet the obligations that Part 9 places on it.
Through creation of the new Local Development Plan the we are considering opportunities to allocate suitable land for allotment and community growing space within the new housing developments but this has to be considered alongside the requirement to provide affordable housing and adequate outdoor space for education, formal sports and informal recreation.
If new allotment and community growing facilities are able to be provided, our preferred model for management will be via associations whereby the needs of local communities can be best served. Associations would also have greater access to external funding packages that could bring forward the delivery dates for new sites.
Waiting Lists are currently held by the council and divided into each of the 6 main clusters so for example if you live in Aberlady and wished to apply for an allotment your name would be placed on the North Berwick Cluster list. This approach should ensure that each community has access to facilities that do not involve significant travel to reach them.
If you are interested in getting an allotment or want information on local groups with a similar interest, please contact landscape and countryside.