Are bonfires allowed on allotments?

The use of bonfires on Allotments is covered in section 3.4 of the Allotment Rules

Bonfires are permitted under certain conditions, which are designed to prevent a nuisance being caused to neighbouring residents and other plot holders. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to cause a nuisance through the generation of ‘smoke emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance’. Therefore the tenant must conform to the following requirements:

  • No bonfires are permitted between 1 April to 30 September.

  • Bonfires are permitted between the 1 October to 31 March each year on Tuesdays after 12pm and the first Saturday of the month after 12pm.

  • Bonfires must be extinguished if not burnt out by dusk.

  • Only burn when suitable weather conditions permit, to avoid causing a nuisance (wind drift etc)

  • Only burn organic matter and dry vegetable matter that has been produced on your own plot. Do not burn material that has been given to you from other plots or from outside the allotment site.

  • Do not set fire to massive piles of materials, but start with a medium stack and add further material in stages.

  • Non-vegetable matter such as plastic, rubber, carpet or roofing felt must not be burnt, and flammable liquids such as old sump oil must not be burnt or used to light fires.

  • In the event of a reasonable complaint, from another tenant or member of the public, regarding a nuisance being caused by the bonfire, then the fire must be extinguished immediately

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Are there allotment sites elsewhere in the District?

The Town and Parish Councils within the District also operate their own allotment sites.  If you would like further information about allotment sites where you live, please contact your local Town or Parish Council.

View Allotments not managed by St Albans City and District Council in a larger map

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Can I add a second name to my allotment tenancy?

Having recently reviewed the allocation of second tenants the Council has decided that as of Monday 3 August 2009 it will no longer operate a second tenant system.

A tenancy agreement is made between one named individual and the Council.  When this agreement comes to an end or is terminated by either party, the plot would then be offered to the next person on the waiting list for that particular site.  In exceptional circumstances the Council may allocate the plot to an individual who has worked the plot with the named tenant. The Council will consider any such requests on a case by case basis and the Council's decision is final.

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Can I compost green waste on my allotment plot?

Yes, this is an excellent way of increasing the fertility of your plot. This allows all your vegetable material to be recycled and limits the amount of waste to be removed from the site. Burning and dumping is not permitted on any of the Allotment Sites.

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Can I have more than one allotment plot?

Because of the high demand for allotment plots, the Council has restricted the allocation of plots to one per household.

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Can I install a shed on my allotment plot?

The council will give landlords consent to install a non-permanent (for example, installed on paving slabs and not on a concrete base) shed or greenhouse measuring a maximum of 6 x 8 ft.

Please note that in some locations you may need to obtain planning permission, so it is advisable to contact the Planning Department to seek advice.

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Do you have any hints or tips for new tenants?

There are plenty of books available at your local library and lots of expertise from other plot-holders, who are eager to share their knowledge.

Here are our top ten tips

Don't rush in and try to do too much digging too quickly.

Start your ground preparation in autumn, aiming to complete all your digging before the end of the year.
Remove perennial weeds; try not to break their roots, as leaving pieces in the ground will only serve to propagate these plants.
Start a compost heap.
Do not sow seeds too early; allow time for the ground to dry out and warm up in spring.
Water newly planted seedlings regularly and try to collect as much rainwater as you can, as it is good for your plants and good for the environment.
Plant seeds in rows rather that scattering them; it's much easer to weed between rows of plants than it is when they are randomly scattered.
Put mulch down on bare soil, it will help to slow the growth of weeds and improve water retention.
Aim to get a succession of crops throughout the year.
If your site has an association, it's well worth joining.  It’s a great way to meet new people and take part in social events that they often organise throughout the year.

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How big is an allotment plot?

Allotment plots vary in size, but most are around 125 to 250 square metres in size.

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How much do allotments cost?

From 1st April 2017 until further notice the Allotment charges will be:

Price per full size plot£47.20
Price per three quarter sized plot £35.38
Price per half size plot£23.60
Price per quarter sized plot***£13.24

Please note, a one off administrative charge of £12.44 is payable by new tenants.  This amount is non-refundable.  The reduced rate is applicable to pensioners/low income groups**  

***A minimum invoice charge of £13.07 applies to all transactions and plot prices may vary. (this fee applies to plot rental fees only) An annual price increase is applied from the 1st April each year.

How to calculate if you are at pensionable age

Plot RangeSize Range
Full Sized Plot252 sqm (or above) - 190 sqm
Three Quarter Sized Plot189 sqm - 127 sqm
Half Sized Plot126 sqm - 64 sqm
Quarter Sized Plot63 sqm or less

sqm = Square Meters

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I currently have a half sized plot, is it possible to have a larger one?


Plot allocation is set at one full sized allotment plot per household.  If you currently have a half plot and would like an addition half plot or want to move to a full sized plot we will add you back onto the waiting list.

To be eligible to go on to the waiting list you must meet the following criteria.

Must have been a tenant at the site for a minimum period of 12 months.
Must not have received any Non Cultivation letters or Notices to Quit from the Council within the previous 12 month period.
Must not currently hold more than one half sized plot.
The named tenant must apply direct to the Council in writing or via email at
Plots are offered on an as-seen basis.

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I have lost my Allotment key, can I have a replacement?

Yes, however there is a change of £5

Contact the Parks and Green Spaces team for further information.

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What are the Council's rules for Allotments?

The following document is a copy of the St Albans Allotment Rules. 

St Albans Allotment Rules


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What is the Council's allotment waiting list policy?

The Council's waiting list policy is available on the Council's allotment web page.  

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Date of last review: 02 February 2017