Rules of Marina Allotments

(Based on S28 Small Holdings and AllotmentAct 1908)

Definition of Terms

“Site” means the entire area of Marina Allotment owned by the Council and leased to Marina Allotments.

“Allotment Plot” means the area of land used primarily for the cultivation of fruit, flowers and vegetables which is let to the tenant.

“Association” means The Marina Allotment Association (a formally constituted democratic organisation) which manages the Site on behalf of the Council.

“Committee” means the Marina Allotment Committee elected each year at the Allotment AGM.

“Tenant” means a person who holds a tenancy of an Allotment Plot.

“Tenancy” means the letting of an Allotment Plot in Marina Allotments to a Tenant.

“Tenancy Agreement” means the Marina Allotments document confirming the letting of an Allotment Plot to a Tenant.

“Associate” means an individual who has been approved to carry out tasks in support of members on individual plots or on the allotment as a whole.

“Allotment Rules” means the rules approved by the Committee and ratified at the Allotment AGM and modified when appropriate.

“Rent” means the annual rent payable for the Tenancy of an Allotment Plot and all amenities provided with it.

“Cultivation” means digging, mulching, pruning, weeding and planting for the production of vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers or other ornamental plants. It is not sufficient simply to clear weeds without using the area to produce crops and flowers. A lawn does not constitute cultivation.

Allotment Rules

These rules are based on those used by Hastings Borough Council which are themselves based on Section 28 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908; they apply to all Allotment
Plots from the date of when the new tenancy agreements are signed.

Allotment Rules will be reviewed annually and voted on at the AGM. Any amendments will be binding and effective immediately. The Committee will advise tenants by email of any changes.

Tenants and Associates, as members of the Association, must comply with all directions given by a Member of the Committee with regard to the content of these rules and the tenancy agreement.

1 Application for Allotment Plots

The Committee maintains a database of plots on the Allotment. Applicants are selected from a waiting list on a first come, first served basis, preventing any undue preferences. Your gender, race, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or health is not barrier to you renting an allotment.

Existing Tenancies wishing to increase their holdings can put their names on the waiting list and be allocated a plot at the discretion of the committee when they reach the top of the list.
• Those wishing to upgrade to 5 rods can go on the waiting list after two years
• Those wishing to upgrade to more than 5 rods can go on the waiting list after three years.

It will be the Association’s policy at all times to be seen as recognising its social responsibilities by giving help, encouragement and priority, first to Senior Citizens and Registered Disabled; secondly to Associate members wishing to adopt full plot-holding status.

2 Tenancies and Vacant Allotments

All Tenants must complete and sign a Tenancy Agreement. This is a legally binding agreement. Each Plot will be in the name of one Tenant only. Groups or Organisations must submit a pre-tenancy application for approval by the Council; such Tenancies will be in the name of one person known as the principal Tenant.

Joint or shared Tenancies are not permitted.

Where a Plot falls vacant because of the Tenant’s death it must first be offered to any member of the Tenant’s immediate family who wishes to take over the Allotment Garden. In such a case they must apply within two months.

No tenant shall be allowed to hold plots amounting to more than 10 rods total area. Note this rule does not apply retrospectively, i.e. existing tenants with historical holdings of more than 10 rods will be allowed to keep them, subject to maintaining their plots in good cultivated condition.

Tenants must reside within the Borough of Hastings.

The Tenant shall be aged 18 years or more.
Note 1: SECURITY OF TENURE, proffered by this agreement, is a minimum period of TEN YEARS from the payment of an annual rent.
Note 2: All new first time Tenants shall be required to pay a deposit fee of £20 for the provision of a key to the site, which sum will then be refundable on termination of the tenancy and return of the key. Tenant/key holders at the time of the Association’s commencement of self-management of the site will be required to return key(s) in their possession on termination of tenancy but
shall not be entitled to refund by the Association of the original deposit to the Council.
Note 3: Tenancies let from 1st May shall be let at a reduced rate according to a sliding scale.
Note 4: Exchange transfers of tenancies mid-term shall be at the discretion of and on terms set by the Committee.

The Tenancy of an Allotment Garden is personal to the Tenant. Tenants may not assign, underlet or part with possession of all or part of their Allotment Plot (including any shed/ locker/greenhouse).

3 Rent

Rent, including water charges is due at the commencement of the Tenancy and annually on 1st October thereafter (unless otherwise stated in the Tenancy Agreement).

Rent will be reviewed annually, and any increase deemed necessary by the committee shall be presented at the AGM and voted on by the members.

4 Cultivation and Use of Allotment Plots

Tenants must use Allotment Plots for their own personal use and must not carry out any business or sell produce from Allotment

Allotment Plots must be kept safe and maintained in a good state of cultivation and productivity. Assuming the plot was in a reasonable condition at the start of the tenancy, at least 25% of the plot should comply within 6 months, 50% in 12 months and 75% cultivated at 24 months of taking up the Tenancy. Only 25% in total to be used for recreational purposes. Weeds, grasses and seeds shall be prevented from spreading to other Allotment Plots.

Where a Tenant fails to maintain a good standard of cultivation, the Allotment Committee will serve a “Notice to Improve” giving 14 days for improvement. Failure to improve the Plot will lead to a “Notice to Act” being served giving a further 14 days to carry out any improvement. Failure to improve will lead to termination of the Tenancy.

On termination of the tenancy, the plot must be left in a clean condition suitable for immediate re-letting.

Fruit trees regarded as permanent planting must be on dwarf or semi dwarf rootstock unless the tenant has obtained prior written consent from the Committee to do otherwise. Standard or half standard trees propagated on seedling root stocks are not permitted. Trees are not to cast any shadow over neighbouring plots or residents’ gardens and can be removed at any time at the discretion of the Council. The total combined area of all fruit trees crown spread must not exceed 33% of total plot area.
Note: “Dwarf Root Stock” controls the vigour of the plant, allowing the cultivation of trees and bushes in a smaller space than if they were grown on their own roots.

Bamboo and other non-native invasive species must not be planted anywhere on site.

Tenants must not cut or prune any trees or shrubs which are not their responsibility e.g. those on the boundary of a plot. If such trees or shrubs are causing a nuisance to a plot-holder, the committee should be contacted to carry out any necessary work. This does not affect the routine pruning of the Tenant’s own trees and hedges on the Allotment Garden.

Hedges must be kept pruned to a maximum height of 1 metre and kept within the boundary of the plot. The committee reserves the right to prune any hedge that does not comply with this regulation.

The Committee reserves the right to remove from any Allotment site any tree, bush or shrub which interferes with the use of any other allotment, in the event that the tenant fails to remove the problem having been given 14 days’ notice.

Tenants must leave a minimum gap of 1000mm between the rear of their Plot and any adjoining boundary fence to allow access for maintenance.

Tenants must not take down, break into or change any boundary fencing especially that abutting any public footpath, e.g. to form
private or Unofficial gates and points of entry.
Note: The Association is obligated by its terms of reference and public indemnity insurance to ensure that only the official gates to the site are used, and for which keys are provided.

Tenants are not to cause damage to other Tenant’s property or crops, nor to the infrastructure of the site e.g. roadways, paths, fences, gates etc.

Tenants are required to lock the gates after they leave the site unless it is clear that other tenants are still working. Locks and chains are not to be tampered with.

Members or Associate Members bringing children onto the Allotment are entirely responsible for their safety. They must also ensure that they do not cause a disturbance to other plot holders.

5 Hoses, Bonfires, Rubbish, Chemical Use and Other Restrictions

The use of hoses for direct watering of plots is forbidden at all times as is the use of sprinklers and similar devices. Tenants may use a hosepipe from
standpipes to fill up water tanks on their individual plots. Tenants must take every precaution to prevent contamination of water supplies. Tenants are
expected to use water sparingly and responsibly.

Mains water supply will be shut off during winter months. Water authority regulations will apply at their discretion.

Washing vehicles is prohibited.

Underlay and asbestos must not be used on any plot. Carpet must not be used on the ground, but carpet made from natural fibres may be used above ground e.g. to cover a compost heap. The Allotment Association supports the use of proprietary weed suppressants and bio-degradable materials such as cardboard to suppress weeds.

Rubbish refuse or decaying matter (except for manure, compost or wood chip required for cultivation and mulching) must not be deposited on the Allotment site by the Tenant or by anyone else with the Tenant’s permission. Tenants are expected to compost or reuse all matter arising from the cultivation of their allotment plot if possible. Perennial weeds such as couch grass and bindweed may be deposited in the designated communal composting area. Any matter that is not compostable or reusable should be removed from the Site by the Tenant, or burned in strict accordance with the rules on bonfires (See 5.7). Bulk deliveries of farmyard manure, mushroom compost, etc. that is offloaded onto the broad car park area must therefore be cleared as soon as possible and should be arranged for such time as the Tenant can be present to take delivery. Similarly, it is forbidden to deposit on to any part of the public footpath areas any materials such as rubbish, timber, drums, gas cylinders, etc., whether delivered or intended for later removal.

Plots should be kept in a tidy condition so as not to present an eyesore to other plot holders or neighbouring houses that overlook the allotment. Anything that is brought onto the allotment for purposes other than gardening should be consistent with the horticultural nature of the allotment, i.e. of
colours and materials that are not out of keeping with the surroundings.

There is a ban on all bonfires, including communal ones, between 30th April and 30th September. (Note: The committee reserves the right to ban bonfires during the winter in exceptional circumstances.) Bonfires must not be allowed to cause a nuisance to neighbouring plot holders and residents and under no circumstances should they be left unattended. Any material burned must be dry in order to reduce smoke.
Note: Fires must be restricted to the destruction of materials, i.e. diseased matter or waste timber emanating from within the plot. The burning of rubbish brought in from outside, instead of being more properly conveyed to the municipal dump, will be considered as a serious misuse of the plot.

Tenants must not remove any mineral, gravel, sand, earth or clay from the Site unless they have written permission to do so from the Council.

Tenants must not cause or allow any nuisance or annoyance to the Tenant of any other Allotment Garden and must comply with Rules 14.1 – 14.3

The Allotment Garden must not be used for any illegal or immoral purpose and the Tenants must observe all relevant legislation or Codes of Practice relating to activities they carry out on the Allotment Garden.

The Tenant shall not park a vehicle anywhere on the Site. No vehicle, trailer, caravan or similar equipment is to be left on the Site overnight.

The Tenant should ensure that tools and other personal equipment are kept safe and secure when not in use. The Allotment Association accepts no responsibility for the loss or damage to such items nor does the Association accept any responsibility for any injury caused by such items.

The Allotment Association is not to be liable for loss by accident, fire, theft or damage of any tools or contents left in any Communal Shed or vehicles brought onto the site.

No weapons (e.g. air rifles) are permitted on the Site.

Barbed wire must not be used on individual Allotment Plots.

No toxic or hazardous materials or contaminated waste should be stored or brought onto the Site. All pesticides must comply with the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985 and are to be used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. The storing of materials other than for use on the Plot is prohibited. All such materials must be stored in a safe manner (e.g. glass for cloches) and must not be allowed to become a hazard or nuisance to others.

Petrol, oil, fuel, lubricants or other inflammable liquids are to be stored safely, in small quantities and in suitable containers.

When applying manufactured fertilizers or products used to control pests, unwanted plant species or disease, the tenant of the allotment garden must:
a) take all reasonable care to ensure that adjoining plots, hedges, trees and crops are not adversely affected, and must make good or replant as necessary should any damage occur, and
b) so far as possible select and use chemicals, whether for spraying, seed dressing or for any other purpose whatsoever, that will cause no harm to members of the public, other tenants, birds and other wildlife.
c) comply at all times with current regulations.

Tenants have a duty of care to others on the allotment site. This includes visitors, trespassers, other tenants, themselves and family members as well as wildlife. This is particularly relevant in relation to: the timing and usage of mechanical equipment e.g. strimmers and rotovators and the means to power them; the obstruction of paths and construction of any features on the site, e.g. ponds; the application and storage of pesticides and fertilizers.

All incidences of rodent infestation should be reported immediately to the Committee.

6 Dogs, Animals and Bees

Any dog (including Assistance Dogs) brought onto the Site must be kept on a lead and under strict control at all times. The tenant must ensure that any dog
faeces is removed forthwith. Tenants will be held responsible for any damage, intimidation of other plot holders and/or fouling caused by dogs in their charge.

Animals or livestock must not be kept on Allotment Plots.

Beehives are not allowed on the Allotment Site except with the prior written permission of the Committee. Tenants must have valid insurance cover and
have a bee-keeping qualification.

7 Unauthorised Persons

Only Members and Associate Members of the Association, or persons authorised or accompanied by the aforementioned, is allowed on the Site except for invitations to events e.g. open days arranged by the Association. Access is not permitted onto any other plot, unless invited by the plot-holder.

The Committee may order any person unlawfully allowed on to the Site in breach of these rules to leave immediately.

The Committee may take action for breach of their Tenancy Agreement against any Tenant who the Committee reasonably believes was responsible for allowing an unauthorised person to be on the Site.

Gate keys are not to be reproduced and distributed to any other person.

8 Paths

Paths between two Allotment Plots must be a minimum of 600mm in width where possible and must be kept trimmed and free from weeds up to the nearest half width by each adjoining Tenant.

Site paths must be kept clear of obstructions at all times. Obstructions caused by plants (such as trees or brambles) or fixtures (such as supports, compost bins, frames, sheds) must not be allowed to impede passers-by on paths, to snag clothing or cause physical injury. Any such hurt or injury to others will be the entire responsibility of the Tenant concerned.

The Tenant must not leave any tools or other equipment unattended on common pathways or other such areas of the Site nor in any other way that may cause accident or injury and must ensure that such tools and other equipment are used carefully and with due regard to the safety of others.

9 Sheds, Buildings and Structures

No buildings, walls or permanent structures may be built on the Allotment Site by Tenants.

All structures, e.g. fencing, raised beds, and sheds, should be set back from any path by a minimum of 150mm.

Fencing and windbreaks should be a maximum of 1 metre in height; they should not obstruct any paths or be unsightly.

Sheds, greenhouses and polytunnels may not be erected without prior consent from the Committee. Sheds and greenhouses must have guttering connected to a water container (e.g. butt, barrel).

Sheds, greenhouses or polytunnels may be erected on plots of 5 rods or more and must comply with the following specifications and conditions:
These should be of the ridge type. Maximum floor area permitted is 80 square feet (7.43m2) and the height should not exceed 7’6” (2.28m) at the ridge.
Types permitted: Wooden construction – painted white or treated with oil.
Aluminium frame

Maximum floor area permitted is 24 square feet (2.22m2) and the height should not exceed 6’6” (1.95m). Of timber construction. The shed will be painted dark green or brown or treated with a timber preservative.

On plots between 2.5 and 5 rods, a small shed and/or greenhouse may be permitted subject to discussion with the committee. On plots smaller than 2.5 rods, only a toolbox and cloche are permitted.

Structures should be sited to an agreed location following discussion with neighbouring plot holders or as directed by the Committee. No permanent footings or bases may be constructed.

The Allotment Tenant shall not be permitted to erect more than one shed and one greenhouse / polytunnel on each individual plot.

Any shed, greenhouse or polytunnel for which the Committee grants permission must be maintained in a good state of repair and condition to the satisfaction of the Committee, and if the Committee is not satisfied with the state of repair it may order the Tenant to repair or remove the structure. The Committee reserves the right to enter and remove unsatisfactory structures and to recover costs from the tenant.

In all cases, a sketch plan showing approximate size and location of proposed structure should be submitted for the prior approval of the Committee by email to

10 Advertisements

Tenants may not display any personal or commercial advertising.

11 Inspection

Allotment Plots (and any structure on it) may be entered and inspected by a member of the Committee, an Officer or member of the Council/or its agent or the Police at any time and the Tenants must give whatever access they require with or without notice.
Note: Inspections may be carried out for a variety of purposes, e.g. correcting deterioration of the plot, mowing paths, eradicating weed growth, and preventing nuisance such as pest infestation and suppression etc.

12 Disputes

Disputes between Tenants which cannot be resolved on site should be referred to the Committee. The written decision of the Committee will be binding on all the Tenants involved in the dispute.
Note: Refusal to comply with any decision will be to risk expulsion, as also will be the audible expression of foul language. Serious anti-social behaviour may involve blacklisting and notice to other Allotment Associations.

13 Harassment

The Allotment Association has a commitment to eliminating unlawful or unfair discrimination and to achieving an environment free from harassment. This extends to the conduct of allotment Tenants.

Harassment may be of a specifically racial, sexual or religious nature, but is generally accepted to be any unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct. All Tenants are expected to comply with the Association’s policies in respect of harassment and discrimination.

Complaints about harassment are to be referred to the Committee. The Committee will endeavour to protect Tenants against victimisation for making or being involved in a complaint. Wherever possible, Tenants should tell the person who is causing the problem that the conduct in question is unwanted and/or offensive and must stop.

14 Termination

BOTH PARTIES AGREE that this agreement may be ended in any of the following ways:
a) The TENANT giving to the Association one months’ notice in writing. Only in extenuating circumstances, e.g. death or sudden illness, and entirely on the merits of any particular case, shall the Committee consider refund of any part of unexpired ground rent.
b) The ASSOCIATION giving one month’s notice in writing to the Tenant in the following circumstances:
i) If renewal rent and/or water rate shall be in arrears for sixty days or for thirty days after a reminder has been sent
ii) If the Committee is satisfied that there is or has been a breach of the terms of this agreement so serious as to be likely to harm or jeopardize the good conduct and management of the allotment site for the benefit of all.
iii) If the tenant fails to maintain a good standard of cultivation over the course of one season without good reason, having already served a Notice to Improve and a Notice to Act.
c) Notwithstanding the long term security of tenure proffered by this agreement, the Association giving three months’ notice in writing to the Tenant on account of the plot / allotment site being peremptorily required either for a purpose (other than for agriculture) for which the land is required and requisitioned under Government statutory provision, or for building, mining, industrial purpose, and/or roads and sewers necessary for same.
Note: In the event of re-possession being required in any case outlined in c) above, and provided that at the end of the three months’ notice period the TENANT is not in rent arrears or in any other way beholding to the Association, the Tenant shall be entitled to compensation by the ultimate entering Authority, i.e. National or Local Government, for the market value of any crops incapable of being harvested at the time repossession is finally taken.
d) If the Tenant should be apprehended and proven guilty of theft from anywhere on the allotment site, in which case summary expulsion will be applied and seven days only be allowed for the removal of standing crops and fixtures after which notice, anything remaining on the plots shall be FORFEIT WITHOUT COMPENSATION.

IT IS HEREBY AGREED that any NOTICE served by the Committee to the TENANT shall be deemed to have been served satisfactorily for the spirit and purposes of this agreement when given by any of the following methods:
a) Personally, in writing, by the General Secretary, or other Officer designated to do so by the Management Committee, or
b) By leaving such written notice at his/her last known address, or
c) By recorded postal delivery to him/her at the last known address, or
d) By fixing in a conspicuous manner and prominent display on the tenant’s plot and drawing attention to same on the main notice board at the site office.

IT IS HEREBY AGREED that any notice to be given by the Tenant to the Association shall be deemed to have been satisfactorily given when:
a) Given in writing to a member of the committee
b) Received by post at the registered office.
c) Sent by email to
d) Posted in the allotment post box.

Except in the case of Summary Expulsion, Tenants vacating a plot are given an opportunity in accordance with the terms of notice to clear the plot of any buildings, fixtures and crops. It shall be clearly understood by any outgoing tenant that no compensation or payment shall be sought or allowed either from an incoming tenant or from the Association, in respect of any buildings, materials or crops left on the plot at the vacation of a tenancy.

Plots that become Vacant, for whatever reason, may be cleared and effects disposed of, entirely at the discretion of the Management Committee.

15 Change of Address and Notice

Tenants must immediately inform the Committee in writing of changes of contact details.