Allotments

If you have limited space at home to grow your own vegetables, fruit or flowers, you may want to consider an allotment.

There are 14 sites in Sefton. Some sites are managed by the Council and others are managed by Allotment Associations where they allocate plots and manage sites.

To help you decide to apply for an allotment plot. We have Questions and Answers on this page, a Sefton Allotment Tenants Guide and a  Sample tenancy to help you make your decision and to answer queries that current or prospective tenants may have, please read these before considering applying for an allotment plot or emailing us.

You can find a full list of all our sites together with contact details and the length of each waiting list.

Recently we undertook a survey or residents, allotment tenants and those on the waiting list to find out how people felt about allotments in the borough. The results and a summary report are available to read here.

You can find the first issue of our Allotments Tenant newsletter here. 

Sefton Allotment Tenants Guide (pdf 195KB)
Sampletenancy (pdf 347KB)
Green Sefton Allotments Newsletter (Digital) (pdf 1.43MB)
Allotment Survey Results Report (word 471KB)
Parks And Greenspace (url KB)

You must be a resident of Sefton. Only one allotment plot per person is allowed.

For further details on Council managed sites contact us on 0151 934 2943 or email allotments@sefton.gov.uk

In you are interested in plots at self-managed sites please contact the Allotment Association direct on the contact details shown in the allotments list.

If we have an immediate vacancy we will contact you to discuss making a site visit to view the plot. We will offer you two weeks to make a decision on the offer we have made.

If we can’t offer you a plot we will add you to our waiting list. Given so many tenants enjoy use of their plots, turnover may be very slow and this could be a very long wait.

If you have a reference number starting SEF-????? you are on the waiting list.

We can't comment on how long its going to be offered a plot because that depends on tenants leaving. When it is your turn you will then receive a letter inviting you to view a plot.

There is a time limit and anyone who doesn't respond to the invite letter by the end of the time limit is removed from the waiting list. The process takes a minimum of a month but can take as much as six weeks as people are sometimes on holiday and contact me at the last minute.

If all the plots are then let the waiting list is held until plots become available.

If there are plots still available, the process starts again with the next person on the waiting list.

We require a signed tenancy agreement with your payment, we will return a copy of the agreement and any keys. We will provide you with any other information we think you may require, such as contact details for Allotment Associations and help with getting started.

There is one instance where you can be offered an allotment plot if you live outside of the Sefton boundary but you must be on the waiting list for this to occur.

You can have a plot if you reach the top of the waiting list and there are no other people waiting for a plot. If there are still Sefton residents on the list, you will not be offered a plot until such time as all Sefton residents that want a plot, have one.

Charges from 1st April 2021

For residents of Sefton, annual charges are: full plot £108.00 and half plot £81.00.

For non-residents of Sefton, annual charges are: full plot £216.00 and half plot £162.00.

All tenants are also required to pay a share of the utility costs for the site and new Council tenants pay a set up charge of £55. This is a one-off fee and you will be billed with your first invoice.

Your rental fee is for your plot of land. This fee covers the administration, legal, financial and maintenance requirements associated with the land. It doesn't cover any utility charges associated on site, these are billed separately where applicable. 

The fee excludes rubbish removal too. If you vacate your plot you may be charged for anything left on site which Sefton has to remove.

All tenancies run from 1st April - 31st March. To prevent getting a bill for the next year you must terminate your agreement in writing by 28th February giving the one months notice required to quit. This is detailed in the tenancy agreement.

Once you have been issued with a bill, you can pay in a number of ways detailed on the reverse of your bill:

You can pay your invoice on the internet by logging on to www.sefton.gov.uk/payments. When you are asked for the payment details on this invoice you should choose the category

PAYMENT BY TELEPHONE

You can pay by debit card over the telephone on the Council's 24 hour automated payment line by calling 0151 934 4697. Please follow the instructions given. When you are asked for the payment details on this invoice you should choose the category

If you would prefer to speak to a member of staff, please ring 0151 934 4149 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

DIRECT BANK TRANSFER, STANDING ORDER or INTERNET BANKING

Please remember to quote your customer id number as your reference and allow 5 days for the payment to be credited to your account.

Credit to: National Westminster Bank PLC, 329 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3EH

Sort code: 60-20-23 Account No: 93226632 Account: Metropolitan Borough of Sefton.

COMPANY REMITTANCE ADVICES

Please email to remittance.advices@sefton.gov.uk. Alternatively you can send by post to:

Sefton Council, PO Box 21, Bootle, L20 3US.

BY POST

Please address to Sefton Council, P.O. Box 33, Bootle. L20 3SX. Cheques must be made payable to "Sefton M.B.C." and crossed "A/C Payee only". Please write your customer id number on the reverse of the cheque. If you require a receipt please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope.

PERSONAL VISIT

You can pay by cash, cheque and card by visiting Sefton Council's One Stop Shop between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

When using the kiosk please choose the category INVOICES.

SOUTHPORT One Stop Shop, 1 Cambridge Arcade, Southport. PR8 1DA.

BOOTLE One Stop Shop, 324-342 Stanley Road, Bootle. L20 6ET.

PAY ZONE/POST OFFICE

You can pay by personal payment card at any Post Office Branch or Pay Zone outlet in the country. To apply for a personal payment card please call us on 0151 934 4149.

UNABLE TO PAY - If you are struggling to make your payment it is very important that you contact us as soon as possible on

0151 934 4149 or email income.section@sefton.gov.uk . You can also write to Sefton Council, PO Box 21, Bootle, Merseyside L20 3US.

NON PAYMENT WILL RESULT IN FURTHER ACTION BEING TAKEN.

If you require independent financial advice or assistance, you may wish to contact one of the following organisations:

CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU - to access their services please visit www.seftoncab.org.uk

NATIONAL DEBT LINE Tel: 0808 808 400 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

STEP CHANGE DEBT CHARITY Tel: 0800 138 1111 www.cccs.co.uk

SEFTON CREDIT UNION - offers easy savings scheme and low cost personal loans to anyone living or working in Sefton Tel:

0151 934 4563 www.seftoncreditunion.org.

Sefton Council is not the occupier of tenanted land. We will report your concerns to the allotment tenant and ask them to look to clear back vegetation from their boundary. The Council will not be clearing vegetation from your boundary and neither can we enter private property.

In the worst cases, where the allotment is unkempt, we will issue formal warnings to the tenant which might lead to eviction or the tenant returning to tend their plot.

Staff visit allotments to check that tenants are maintaining their plot to the standards set out in the agreement. If you are not cultivating your plot a warning notice is issued to give you chance to get the plot back into shape. If this doesn't happen, your tenancy can be at risk of being terminated.

You may see what look like untended and vacant plots, but there may be a reason why the tenant is not looking after their plot. This is something that Officers regularly monitor to remove tenants where appropriate. Staff do take into account medical and other situations which may cause a plot holder to fall behind in their plots upkeep. The process for removing tenants and getting new ones in can take time but rest assured that Officers try to do this as quickly as possible.

Council allotment site water bills are calculated on the the yearly usage of water. This usage is then divided by the number of plots on site. Half plots pay half the amount that a full plot would pay.

An Association site may calculate their water bills differently, contact your association if you are in doubt about you water bill.

In Autumn, the water is turned off when the forecast indicates that the temperature will potentially freeze water pipes and taps causing damage to the infrastructure. 

In Spring it is understood that you have essential activities to do to facilitate growing and water is one of these. The water is turned on when there is a reasonable chance that there won’t be a cold spell that could cause bursts. The likelihood is that the water could be turned shortly after the Spring Solstice.

We encourage the use of water butts to capture and store rainwater on site. This may help with the use of water in Spring until the water is turned back on.

In short no - fires are not permitted in line with the tenancy. Local residents often call the Fire Service to attend allotments and you may be charged for their visit.

Please call the Mersey Fire and Rescue. We do not allow fires on allotments sites. Once you have called the Fire Service, please email allotments@sefton.gov.uk with a location and image (if possible) of the fire so we can take action.

No, nor should you use underlay. We recommend the use of cardboard for this purpose as man made materials can cause problems with chemicals being released into the soil.

The most obvious solution is to compost and reuse any green waste on site or take it home with you.

Please take any rubbish home with you. Sefton do not provide skips as part of the allotments. Your rental fee covers the use of the land only and not for rubbish removal.

Anyone found fly tipping on the site will have their tenancy terminated and will be prosecuted.

Please contact Merseyside Police. The Police will give you a crime reference number. Once you have this number please let us know via allotments@sefton.gov.uk

Sefton accept no liability of property being stolen off a plot - the tenant is responsible for all items on their plot.

You are only allowed to plant fruit trees that are of dwarf stock. For any other trees, permission must be sought in writing from Green Sefton via allotments@sefton.gov.uk

The Council are entitled to remove any tree on your plot if it is causing an issue for other plot holders. Council officers are entitled to ask you to removed unsuitable trees. The maximum height of any tree is 3metres.

If you have a tree on your plot that you wish to be removed but it too big to handle yourself, please contact allotments@sefton.gov.uk with images and your plot details so we can inspect and add to a removal list. Alternatively you may wish to get your own tree surgeon in at your risk.

Any chemicals used on your plot must be used  and stored safely in line with manufacturers recommendations. They should not damage neighbouring plots as you may have to compensate your neighbours.

Ideally, no chemicals should be left on site but if they are they must be securely housed in lockable cabinets.

As a tenant, you can bring your pet dog to your plot but is must be kept on a lead at all times. Any dog fouling must me removed from site as soon as possible. 

Anyone other than tenants, visiting the site should not bring their dog on site.

Please contact allotments@sefton.gov.uk to obtain the necessary paperwork to permit this. You are only allowed to keep hens and not cockerels.

Those already who have chickens on site must make sure they have the correct paperwork in place also.

Yes you can but please email allotments@sefton.gov.uk to obtain permission

An Officer, Member of the Council or the Police may enter your plot with or without permission. This is detailed in the tenancy agreement.

Your children may accompany you to your plot but they must remain supervised at all times and may not enter any other plot without permission from that plot holder.

Please see your tenancy agreement for details of this. Sefton Council is committed to ensuring that there is no harassment on sites.

If you are unable to work your plot for a period of time due to a range of situations, please let us know as soon as possible. This can be held on file and will help to prevent any non-cultivation notice being issued. 

As soon as you are able to return, please let us know.

Yes but first you must inform allotments@sefton.gov.uk and it should conform to the standards set out in the tenancy agreement. Anything larger than this may not be allowed.

This also includes polytunnels an other structures.

 

No. Barbed or razor wire is not permitted under the terms of the tenancy agreement. Any plot with it on will be asked to remove it as soon as possible.

If you move house or alter any contact details (telephone number, email address etc), please contact allotments@sefton.gov.uk quoting your customer ID. This will enable your details to be updated. 

Rats are a common problem where there is a decent food source. Unfortunately, law dictates that you are not allowed to bait rats on land where food is produced. We therefore suggest where possible, produce is removed off site as soon as it is ready and any other food sources are secured away. Compost and mulch should be regularly turned over to prevent nesting along with securing any building on site.

Annually we receive a number of requests to join the waiting lists each year. To highlight the effect of the recent global pandemic on those joining the list, figure below show the previous years requests:

2018 155
2019 317
2020 586
2021 358 to date

 

Although all plot holders must be an adult over 18, Sefton do not currently record the ages of plot holders.

 


Last Updated on Friday, July 29, 2022

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