Allotments information, including how to apply for one, how much it costs and how to raise enquiries.
We own 159 allotment sites across the county. Of these, we manage 106 sites and Allotment Associations manage 53 sites on our behalf.
Find an allotment
Use the map to find allotment sites near you. The map shows who owns the allotment and who manages it. Allotments we own are managed by us, or allotment associations - for these sites, you can apply for an allotment through us.
Some allotments are owned and run by other organisations, such as town or parish councils - contact these organisations directly if you are interested in one of their sites.
Allotments on a map
Where no details are displayed, you may be able to find out who manages the site by visiting it and speaking to plot holders on the site.
You can apply for any allotment we own using the link below. This includes allotments managed by us and allotment associations. You must be over 18 and live in County Durham to apply.
The annual rent period for allotments that we manage, runs from 1 November to 31 October. You will receive your invoice by 15 November, or within two weeks of taking over your plot. Your payment due date is included in your invoice.
Plot rents for our directly let sites are calculated based on the average plot size on each site (total area of allotment site divided by the number of allotment plots equals the average plot size per site.) These are then grouped into six bands.
Details of current and future rent charges for each allotment size band are shown in the table below.
Rent between 1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020
Details of allotment charges for each size band:
|Allotment Site Band||Average Plot Size per site||Annual rent charged on 1 November 2018||Annual rent charged on 2 November 2020|
|1||1m2 - 150m2||£47.00||£48.00|
|2||151m2 - 200m2||£49.00||50.00|
|3||201m2 - 250m2||£51.00||£52.00|
|4||251m2 - 300m2||£53.00||£54.00|
|5||301m2 - 350m2||£55.00||£56.00|
|6||351m2 - and above||£57.00||£58.00|
Plot rents for our directly let sites are calculated based on the average plot size on each site (total area of allotment site divided by the number of allotment plots = average plot size per site). These are then grouped into six size bands.
Plot rents on Allotment Association run sites
Plot rents on Allotment Association run sites are set by the members of the association. Please contact the relevant association for more details.
Manage your plot(s)
Use the apply for an allotment form to see the plots that you are a tenant of. You can:
- ask a question about your plot or any of our other sites
- end your tenancy
- remove a co-worker
- see what waiting lists you are on, and where you are in the list
- view waiting lists for other sites
- leave and join waiting lists
Ending a tenancy
Once you've ended a tenancy, you are responsible for the plot until we complete all inspections. The apply for an allotment form will keep you updated, and advise you when you are no longer liable.
The tenancy agreement you sign depends on whether we manage the site, or an allotment association manages it.
The rules set out in our tenancy agreements have been in force since 1 January 2015. Tenants who started a tenancy before that date will fall under a variety of different rules, which are set out in the specific tenancy agreement that they signed when they took over their plot.
To simplify this situation we are in the process of developing a new allotment policy, tenancy agreement and transition rules that will mean all tenants fall under a single set of rules. Proposals for these will be subject to public and plot holder consultation before being formalised.
Additional rules on Allotment Association run sites
In addition to the rules set out in tenancy agreements, plot holders on association run sites may also be required to follow extra rules agreed by the members of the association. If you take a plot on an association site you will be informed of any extra rules by them. You will also have a right to vote on changes to rules at future general meetings.
Frequently asked questions about our allotments
How long will I have to wait for an allotment?
Allotments are offered on a 'first come, first served' basis and a waiting list is held for each allotment site. It is impossible to determine a waiting time, as allotment plots usually only become available when an existing tenant gives up their tenancy. Use the apply for an allotment form to see where you are on the waiting list.
Can I share my allotment with someone else?
We allow one tenant per plot. However, each tenant can have one co-worker per plot. It is up to the person who wants to be a co-worker to use the apply for an allotment form to apply to be a co-worker. You will then recieve a notification of the co-worker request, which you should accept or decline.
What is a co-worker?
A co-worker is someone who can register to help you with the maintenance of the plot. The co-worker has no legal tenancy rights or responsibilities. Sub-letting to co-workers is not allowed, so you must still have regular involvement in the maintenance of the plot. A co-worker can be registered on one plot, and will remain registered until either the tenant or co-worker decides to remove the co-worker or until the tenant gives up the plot.
Can the co-worker take over the main tenancy when the tenant gives up the plot?
Being a registered co-worker when a tenant gives up the plot does not give you an automatic right to take it over. Instead, we will offer you the plot, only if you have been registered as the co-worker longer than the first person on the waiting list for the site. However, unlike usual waiting list applicants, you will not have to accept another if one becomes available before your co-worker plot.
Can I keep livestock?
Please contact us if you are thinking about keeping any animals on your plot as only certain types are allowed and only on certain sites. You should not assume the presence of animals on other plots means that you can keep the same type of animal on your plot. The other animals may be there through historical rights held by long serving plot holders. If you bring animals onto your plot without asking permission, we may ask you to remove them or face eviction.
Do I have to grow fruit and vegetables throughout the year?
As a minimum, we expect new tenants to cultivate their plot during the main spring to autumn growing season and for it to be actively used throughout the year. Active use includes growing but can also include preparing the ground for cultivation or doing routine maintenance jobs like strimming back uncultivated areas, tidying up, and sorting out items retained for re-use. Although we do not require growing all year round, it is possible to do so and advice on this and other monthly allotment tasks can be found through the Royal Horticultural Society: Grow Your Own and The Allotment Society - growing advice.
Can I have bonfires?
Bonfires are not banned, however, it is essential that they do not cause a nuisance to surrounding residents. The general guidance points below should be followed if you do intend to have a bonfire on your plot:
- Keep bonfires to a minimum.
- Only have a bonfire if it does not affect neighbours and nearby residents (be aware of wind direction and whether other plot holders on the site have had a fire recently).
- Only burn waste generated on your plot and try to use a device that will contain the fire, for example, an incinerator bin.
- Always have quick burning fires, using dry materials and allow it to burn out whilst you're still present on site.
- Do not burn household rubbish, tyres, plastic or foam materials or similar as many of these give off toxic fumes and dense smoke.
- Do not burn rubbish from a business on an allotment.
- Do not leave a bonfire unattended.
- Do not allow the bonfire to burn overnight.
- Be ready to put the fire out if you receive any complaints.
What should I do if there is an illegally lit bonfire?
You can Report an illegally lit fire (Please see our )
What are the benefits of having an allotment?
Allotment gardening provides a wide range of benefits to individuals, communities and the environment. This includes providing:
- access to fresh fruit and vegetables
- an opportunity to get fresh air and exercise
- a chance to find solitude and to meet new friends
- a means of reducing 'food miles'.
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