Should we use Allotments?

Should we use Allotments?

14:11 PM, 17th August 2021, About a month ago 10

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England’s allotments could provide space for over 600,000 new homes, according to the latest research by GetAgent.co.uk. The research found that there are an estimated 4,554 allotments across the nation containing roughly 177,606 plots, each at an average size of 250 square metres. That’s a potential 44,401,500 square metres of allotment space, enough to build 604,513 new homes based on the average property size of 73.45 sqm.

With the average new-build house price in England currently £348,298, it also equates to £210.5bn worth of homes.

London is home to the greatest level of allotment new-build potential, with over 7m sqm of allotment space able to facilitate 95,575 new homes to the tune of £50.3bn in market value.

Tyne and Wear comes in second, with its 291 allotments spread across an estimated 2.8m sqm able to facilitate 38,628 new homes.

The available allotment space across the West Midlands (35,442), Greater Manchester (32,788), County Durham (27,478), West Yorkshire (22,566) and Hertfordshire (22,301) could also potentially accommodate over 20,000 new homes in each area.

Outside of London, Hertfordshire (£10.4bn), the West Midlands (£9.3m) and Tyne and Wear (9.3m) also rank top where the highest potential value of these new homes is concerned, with Surrey also home to a potential value of £8.5bn in allotment new-builds.

In contrast, just one allotment space is recorded in the City of London. Despite this, the 9,750 sqm could still see 133 homes built to the tune of £109.8m.

Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, commented: “Allotments can play a very important role within the community, particularly in our major cities, providing the outdoor space that many look to in order to relax, unwind and socialise. So in this respect, they are probably more valuable than any bricks and mortar market value.

However, we desperately need more homes, an issue that the government has been woefully poor at addressing. While we don’t suggest that allotments are the answer, we wanted to draw attention to the fact that more must be done.

Rather than sacrifice the nation’s allotments, there is a great deal of brownfield and wrongly classified green belt land that could go some way in helping deliver more homes. But until the government decides to pull its finger out, it will continue to sit unused and of no use to anybody.”

Table shows the number of allotments in each area, the total space based on an average of 39 plots per site at 250 sq m each, how many homes this could facilitate based on the average UK property size of 73.45 sqm and what this number of homes could be worth based on the current new build house price
County Total number of allotment sites Est number of plots at an average of 39 per site Est area of allotments at 250 sq m per plot on average Potential number of average size homes at UK average of 73.45 sq m Average new-build house price Potential value of New build homes
Greater London 720 28,080 7,020,000 95,575 £525,927 £50,265,625,718
Hertfordshire 168 6,552 1,638,000 22,301 £464,798 £10,365,402,881
West Midlands 267 10,413 2,603,250 35,442 £262,955 £9,319,794,289
Tyne and Wear 291 11,349 2,837,250 38,628 £240,996 £9,309,270,026
Surrey 120 4,680 1,170,000 15,929 £534,800 £8,518,942,510
Greater Manchester 247 9,633 2,408,250 32,788 £242,226 £7,942,004,134
Essex 137 5,343 1,335,750 18,186 £415,782 £7,561,339,702
Devon 127 4,953 1,238,250 16,858 £373,471 £6,296,129,101
Kent 122 4,758 1,189,500 16,195 £386,814 £6,264,325,220
West Yorkshire 170 6,630 1,657,500 22,566 £237,168 £5,352,017,026
City of Bristol 112 4,368 1,092,000 14,867 £318,908 £4,741,286,464
County Durham 207 8,073 2,018,250 27,478 £169,866 £4,667,560,244
Hampshire 90 3,510 877,500 11,947 £388,365 £4,639,762,863
Northamptonshire 95 3,705 926,250 12,611 £339,161 £4,277,034,580
Worcestershire 92 3,588 897,000 12,212 £348,596 £4,257,193,921
Staffordshire 108 4,212 1,053,000 14,336 £284,568 £4,079,640,405
Leicestershire 83 3,237 809,250 11,018 £344,705 £3,797,853,803
West Sussex 66 2,574 643,500 8,761 £430,115 £3,768,261,063
North Yorkshire 95 3,705 926,250 12,611 £293,221 £3,697,692,947
Lancashire 105 4,095 1,023,750 13,938 £252,492 £3,519,249,977
Cumbria 116 4,524 1,131,000 15,398 £227,266 £3,499,500,594
Derbyshire 96 3,744 936,000 12,743 £272,334 £3,470,455,172
Somerset 70 2,730 682,500 9,292 £334,463 £3,107,838,842
South Yorkshire 111 4,329 1,082,250 14,735 £202,534 £2,984,239,403
Berkshire 53 2,067 516,750 7,035 £408,886 £2,876,677,124
East Sussex 57 2,223 555,750 7,566 £379,487 £2,871,337,016
Warwickshire 53 2,067 516,750 7,035 £402,492 £2,831,691,063
Norfolk 61 2,379 594,750 8,097 £320,887 £2,598,334,329
Merseyside 87 3,393 848,250 11,549 £222,220 £2,566,343,327
Cheshire 62 2,418 604,500 8,230 £300,993 £2,477,197,604
Gloucestershire 42 1,638 409,500 5,575 £396,220 £2,209,013,065
Nottinghamshire 70 2,730 682,500 9,292 £237,177 £2,203,861,340
Buckinghamshire 32 1,248 312,000 4,248 £459,667 £1,952,567,497
Cambridgeshire 30 1,170 292,500 3,982 £403,510 £1,606,897,780
Wiltshire 29 1,131 282,750 3,850 £358,640 £1,380,605,215
Lincolnshire 40 1,560 390,000 5,310 £234,421 £1,244,712,313
Bedfordshire 24 936 234,000 3,186 £381,826 £1,216,437,374
Dorset 30 1,170 292,500 3,982 £301,871 £1,202,142,595
Oxfordshire 20 780 195,000 2,655 £443,585 £1,177,659,987
Suffolk 16 624 156,000 2,124 £351,160 £745,825,541
Shropshire 13 507 126,750 1,726 £284,550 £491,038,208
Cornwall 10 390 97,500 1,327 £277,343 £368,154,111
Isle of Wight 5 195 48,750 664 £279,408 £185,447,480
East Riding of Yorkshire 4 156 39,000 531 £269,438 £143,064,416
City of London 1 39 9,750 133 £827,241 £109,810,778
England 4554 177,606 44,401,500 604,513 £348,298 £210,550,917,306
Allotment figures sourced from the National Allotment Society, Ealing council, the APSE Allotment Report and WhatShed. House price data sourced from the UK House Price Index (May 2021 – latest available). Herefordshire, Northumberland and Rutland excluded due to a lack of available data.
             


Comments

by DSR

16:22 PM, 17th August 2021, About a month ago

be easier if the government offered to buy out existing empty homes! If they offered just a bit below market rate, you might find those private LL's that are currently holding back renting out (as a result of disproportionate/anti-LL rules) or those that want to get out of the game completely might just sell to get rid.

Me included!

The gvt are so hellbent on 'eco' initiatives then lets see them take on what actually exists now, instead of just thinking 'build more'. This would run in parallel with the re-categorisation and supposed freeing up of rules when it comes to planning permission for change of use into residential accommodation.

by Judith Wordsworth

12:25 PM, 18th August 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 17/08/2021 - 16:22
Lease allotments alone. Very few plots are unused, even less since Covid!

There are, and will be, so many empty office buildings which could/should be converted into affordable housing not to mention factories/warehousing etc. Note the affordable housing and not up market gentrified housing.

by Judith Wordsworth

12:25 PM, 18th August 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 17/08/2021 - 16:22Leave allotments alone. Very few plots are unused, even less since Covid!
There are, and will be, so many empty office buildings which could/should be converted into affordable housing not to mention factories/warehousing etc. Note the affordable housing and not up market gentrified housing.

by Beaver

12:30 PM, 18th August 2021, About a month ago

Allotments are good for soil health, locking up carbon and biodiversity, not just for the mental health of people in communities.

This looks to me to be just a bit of spin dreamed up by people lobbying on behalf of organisations and politicians representing developers to let more greenbelt land go. The planning process is already a feeding frenzy. The sharks just want more carcases to eat.

by James Noble

13:13 PM, 18th August 2021, About a month ago

Madness. Nobody touches my allotment! I'll be joining my fellow allotmenteers lying in front of the bulldozers. Interesting that this arrives on the day that sees a possible 20,000 Afghans welcomed to join us - somewhere in the UK. How about taking a slice of land from some of the many massive private estates around the UK, especially Scotland. 'Hunting, shooting, fishing...and housing.'
James

by DSR

15:21 PM, 19th August 2021, About a month ago

I agree Save the Allotments!

For me it's all about my personal escape space away from al the trauma of dealing with benefit tenants (in particular), so total irony here if mine was 'compulsary purchased' to make way for more accommodation to house more of them....

by DSR

15:23 PM, 19th August 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 18/08/2021 - 12:25
that's where the supposed changes to PD have come in, to free these up.

Then you read the small print.....and find that there are just as more requirements as there was before.

Smoke & Mirrors Policy

by Major John

9:11 AM, 21st August 2021, About a month ago

There are as many as 4 million public parking spaces and around 7m private in the UK (RAC figures). At 11.5 sq m each, that's a potential 126m sq m of space, enough to build over 1.7m new homes (i.e. ~3x allotments).
Many questionable assumptions behind that I am well aware, but our priorities can be judged by which we seek to expand, and which repurpose.

by Marie

9:22 AM, 22nd August 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 18/08/2021 - 12:25
Totally agreed. The council owned allotment sites, I have one near me and it looks like the council is deliberately letting it get run down. You cannot get a plot but very little are being worked. So you can see eventually they will say there is no demand and hey presto a new estate goes up.
They are such a precious resource in cities where people have tiny if any gardens and are crucial for mental health.
I think it is time the government planned some new towns in the countryside that are self sustaining, non commuting an well planned, not these little toytown estates built by the big housebuilders that are springing up on the outskirts of towns everywhere like little add ons.

by Marie

9:25 AM, 22nd August 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by James Noble at 18/08/2021 - 13:13
Yes I hear the royals have lots of land. Interesting that on Dartmoor it is difficult to get freehold houses, most are on leases to the crown. Wonder why it is so difficult to see changes to the leasehold sector in this country.


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