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Regulations

 

 

Introduction

Introduction to the Royal Paddocks Allotments

 

  • We aim to continue the traditions of this historic site, keeping it open and welcoming, so that plotholders can tend their plots in a relaxed and productive manner. Courtesy and consideration for other plotholders are the foundation for the regulations that are in place to manage the site.
  • We promote shared enjoyment of growing our own vegetables, fruit and flowers for cutting.
  • Plotholders are invited to help us continue a successful tradition of participative self-management, led by the Plotholders Committee.
  • Plotholders are encouraged to let Committee Members know their views and wishes, attend the AGM every November and to participate in many other ways through the year on work parties and at social events.

 

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Conditions of tenancy

These are the conditions which all tenants sign up to when they take on a plot.

  1. The yearly rental must be paid in advance. It is due on the first day in October in each year and must be paid during that month. If this is not done the Management Committee reserves to itself the right to re-let the plot to another tenant after giving seven days’ notice in writing to the occupier.
  2. Except as provided for in conditions 1, 3 and 5 the tenancy shall be terminated on either side by three months’ notice ending 31 March or 30 September, or by agreement on both sides.
  3. The tenant must put and keep a legible number on the plot, cultivate the plot properly, also keep it, the half of road in front and the path between the plots, free from encumbrances and of weeds, which may injure surrounding plots. If a plotholder neglects to keep the plot, or the path for which he or she is responsible, in a reasonable state of cultivation or cleanliness at any time between 1 March and 31 October, seven days’ warning will be given to put the plot in order. If the fault is not remedied in that time a final seven days’ notice will be given to terminate the tenancy at the completion of the seven days, if the plot has not been put in order by that time.
    Any tenant planting large trees or bushes of any kind on their plot will do so at their own risk, as any such bushes or trees must be removed within one month after due notice in writing has been given to the tenant.
  4. Dogs or other animals must be kept on a lead if brought on the allotment grounds, and must not be allowed to run loose. Continued complaints from other plotholders will result in the offender receiving notice to give up the plot.
  5. The tenant must not sublet any portion of his or her plot or pass it over to another person without the consent of the Paddocks Allotments Committee given through its Clerk; if this is done the Committee may at once resume possession of the plot. If the tenant has more land than can be properly cultivated, he or she should notify the Clerk, who will meet them as far as possible, while taking into consideration the applicants on the waiting list desiring plots.
  6. The tenant must act in accordance with any instructions which may from time to time be posted on the notice board by the Committee for the welfare of the plotholders.
  7. The security of tenants against pilfering is endangered by the gates being left unfastened; plotholders are therefore urged to fasten both small and large gates when they leave the allotments.
  8. An incinerator is provided and plotholders are expected to make good use of it, especially when they have diseased produce, which, if left on the ground, is likely to infect other plots.

 

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Etiquette

To make our allotment experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for everyone, we ask that you observe a few simple rules:

 

  • Don’t walk on someone else’s plot unless you are invited by the plotholder.
  • Don’t scrape your boots or tools onto paths or neighbouring plots.
  • Do not leave diseased or blighted crops on your plot. Please remove so that they do not infect neighbouring plots. Either take them to your local tip or burn them in the incinerator.
  • Using the paths between plots as shortcuts is not permitted. Stick to the main roads when moving around the site.
  • Children must be confined to your own plot and not permitted to play on the main roads or stray onto other plots. An allotment site is not a safe environment for unsupervised children.
  • Parties/BBQs on plots are not permitted.
  • Headphones should be used when listening to the radio or other audio devices on your plot.
  • The walls surrounding the site are a listed structure and are maintained by the Royal Parks. As a listed structure, nothing may be fixed to these walls by any method, nail, screw or otherwise. Nor may any other items or structures be placed so as to be visible from a pedestrian level outside the allotment site.

 

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Plot inspections

All plots are inspected to ensure that tenants are meeting the conditions of their tenancy (see clause 3, above). Inspections are carried out in Spring, early and late Summer (when candidates for Best Plots are nominated).

 

Annual best plots competition

Inspectors highlight plots cultivated to a standard above the norm. These are reviewed by judges who follow a process to identify 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize-winners in the categories: best full plot, half plot, and newcomer. Certificates and winners’ cups are awarded at the AGM

 

The inspection system

Expectations are not unrealistic, and are designed to ensure that the Conditions of Tenancy are met. Key requirements include:

 

  • Reasonable cultivation – the plot is used for growing vegetables, fruit and flowers for cutting
  • Weeds are not being allowed to go to seed and spread to neighbouring plots
  • The plot number is clearly visible at the front of the plot
  • Fruit trees are pruned and do not overhang paths or shade neighbouring plots
  • Inorganic rubbish, glass or waste has not been brought to/accumulated on the plot
  • Boundary paths are obvious, unobstructed and safely usable

 

If a poor plot is identified, a second inspection will take place to verify the condition

If a poor plot is confirmed:

 

  • Where immediate past inspection history of the plot is good, then a communication (a Letter of Encouragement) is sent to advise of the inspectors’ finding and the plotholder is encouraged to take action before the next inspection.
  • If the immediate past inspection history is not good, then two members of the Plotholders’ Committee are asked to inspect it. If they confirm that it is unacceptable, a warning letter is sent to the plotholder – unless the plotholder has already received warning letters for failing the two previous consecutive inspections or has received three warning letters for failing three inspections in the previous 24 months, in which case the Committee may implement Further grounds for eviction (see below).

 

The warning letter:

 

  • indicates areas of concern and suggests work that should be carried out to bring the plot up to an acceptable standard,
  • names a date by which the work should be completed – not less than a month,
  • asks the plotholder to notify the Plotholders’ Committee of any mitigating circumstances or anything that is unclear,
  • reminds the plotholder that he or she must comply with the conditions of their tenancy

 

Whenever possible, the same two members of the Plotholders’ Committee re-inspect the plot on or shortly after the notified date and come to a decision as to whether the plot is now satisfactory.

 

If the work has not been carried out and the plot is considered still unsatisfactory, a second warning letter is sent giving seven days’ notice to put the plot in order. The actual date given allows three additional working days for postal delivery.

 

A re-inspection on or after the notified date is conducted by three members of the Plotholders’ Committee, who confirm that the work has been completed satisfactorily. If it has not, then a decision whether or not to evict the tenant is made by a simple majority of the Plotholders’ Committee. If the decision is to evict, a letter giving seven days’ notice to quit and clear the plot of personal possessions is sent by recorded delivery, allowing three additional working days for postal delivery. The plotholder may appeal against this decision to the Management Committee.

 

Further grounds for eviction

If a plotholder fails three inspections in a row, and receives warning letters for the first two failures, then the Plotholders’ Committee is entitled to send a notice of eviction after the third failed inspection.

 

If a plotholder fails four inspections within a 24-month period, and receives warning letters for the first three failures, then the Plotholders’ Committee is entitled to send a notice of eviction after the fourth failed inspection.

 

The Plotholders’ Committee may take mitigating circumstances into account but reserves the right to terminate the tenancy notwithstanding these circumstances.

 

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Sheds, Greenhouses, Polytunnels

The RPA site is on Crown Land and tenants must obtain permission from the Plotholders’ Committee before erecting or moving a shed, greenhouse, polytunnel or other structure. This includes any proposed replacements.

 

All requests should be submitted to: sheds@rpa.org.uk Your request must include your plot number, dimensions of the proposed structure and exactly where you wish to site your shed, greenhouse or polytunnel. The site will be inspected and neighbouring plotholders will be asked for their agreement.

 

RPA allotment shed

Rules:

Placement

A shed or solid structure of any sort cannot be placed where shade cast by it will fall on a neighbour’s plot. A margin of at least 18 inches (45cm) must be allowed between the base of any structure and the plot path boundary;

 

Maximum sizes allowed

SHED: 7ft x 5ft, and 7ft high (2.1m x 1.5m x 2.1m high) from ground level

GREENHOUSE: 6ft x 10ft, and 7ft high (1.8m x 3m x 2.1m) from ground level

POLYTUNNEL: 8ft x 10ft, and 7ft high (2.4m x 3m x 2.1m high) from the ground

 

ONE shed only, plus EITHER 1 greenhouse OR 1 walk-in polytunnel allowed per plot.

Sheds must be constructed of wood and be a natural wood colour.

Greenhouses must not be fitted with glass. Only Perspex or polycarbonate panels may be used. The frame can be constructed from aluminium or wood.

 

Base

No permanent base (ie concrete) for ANY structure may be used.

Loose-laid paving slabs on a sand base are acceptable.

 

Other

Any other structure on your plot needs approval from the Plotholders’ Committee.

All structures must be kept in a safe state of repair.

Glass is not allowed anywhere on plots.

Fuel or fuel cans should not be stored in your shed.

Solar panels may be installed, but the max height of a shed roof plus solar panel remains 7ft (2.1m).

Solar panels cannot be used to power external lights. Cables must not pose any hazard.

 

Failure to follow these rules may result in you being required to remove your shed or other structure.

 

IMPORTANT: The Royal Paddocks Allotments has no insurance policy covering personal possessions on site, so any items that your shed or other structure contains are stored there at your own risk.

 

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Cars and parking

We have very limited space on site for car parking, so we urge you whenever possible to leave your car at home or to park offsite, particularly on summer weekends when the site can become very congested.

 

On occasions when you have to bring your car onsite, please observe the following:

  • There is space to accommodate a few cars in front of the Seed Store Cafe and on some of the corners of the main roads. Please use these rather than parking in front of your plot.
  • If you have to stop in front of your plot to unload, please ensure your car is hard up against the edge of your own plot to allow pedestrians and cyclists to pass on the other side without having to step on your neighbour’s plot.
  • Park considerately, in a spot that does not obstruct others, and please be ready to move your car if requested. Make sure you display your plot number in your car so you can be contacted if necessary.

car parking permit

 

Download and print out this parking sign for your car windscreen

 

We are lucky to have dedicated volunteers who open and lock the main gates every morning and evening, come rain or shine. Please observe the notice on the vehicle gates detailing lock-up times. The volunteers do not walk round the site to check for cars before locking the gates; it is your responsibility to remove your car from the site before lock-up time. If you allow your car to be locked in, it will remain there overnight until the gates are opened in the morning.

 

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Gates and security

Security is a real issue. There have been several thefts and instances of vandalism in recent years. We can help maintain security by taking a few simple precautions:

 

  • Do not leave the vehicle cage gates and the pedestrian door open and unattended. Always close them behind you when entering and leaving the site even if they were already open. (Drop both bolts into the ground and slide the bar across.) You enter through the pedestrian door and open the vehicle gates from the inside.
  • The gates must not be left open for deliveries, visitors or any other reason. All visitors and deliveries must be met at the gate and accompanied throughout their visit.
  • If someone you don’t recognize attempts to come in with you, please try to confirm that they are plotholders by asking for their plot number.
  • If you see what you believe to be a crime occurring on the site (where there is a threat to person or property) please challenge the person if you feel comfortable to do so. Call police on 999.
    If it is anti social behaviour towards plotholders from members of the public, call 101.
    You can also anonymously report crime on Crimestoppers website or call 0800555111.
    Crime can also be reported on the police website: www.met.police.uk
  • Please report crime to the police. Police resources are allotted to areas where they are needed. If there is no report of crime – few resources will be allotted.
  • If you experience theft or damage/vandalism on your plot, please report it and the action you have taken per the above to plotholderscommittee@rpa.org.uk
  • Plot number 91 is a community plot started by local police. They are happy to give advice about security and policing in the local area of Hampton Wick. They can be contacted by email on HamptonWick@met.police.uk or found on their plot most Sunday mornings (weather permitting) and at the Allotment Café.

 

GATES OPEN
8.30 am all year round

 

GATES CLOSE

4.00 pm
1 December – 31 January

 

5.00 pm
1 February – 28 February

 

6.00 pm
1 March – last Sunday in March (when clocks go forward)

 

7.00 pm
Last Sunday in March (when clocks go forward) – last Sunday in October (when clocks go back)

 

5.00 pm
Last Sunday in October (when clocks go back) – 30 November

 

CHRISTMAS DAY and BOXING DAY
Gates are closed all day

 

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Incinerator

Bonfires are banned.

An incinerator is provided to be used only for dry organic matter from your plot that cannot be composted, put in a dead hedge, immersed in water to make plant feed, etc.

 

When using the incinerator, be considerate of any plotholders who are nearby.

 

Paper and cardboard can be used to get the fire going, but petrol or other accelerants must not be used.

 

Do not use the incinerator before 9 a.m., on Sundays, if it is raining, or if air pollution is at a high level.

 

The incinerator is designed for batch burning. Let the load burn right down before reloading.

 

Ash should be cleared regularly from the bottom of the incinerator (use the shovel provided) and piled in the area to the left of the picket fence. Those arriving with a load to burn are responsible for clearing ashes from the previous burn, as they will have had a chance to cool down.

 

Parents, please be aware of the risk. Do not let your children approach the incinerator or roam the allotments unsupervised.

 

Other Conditions for use are shown on a sign at the incinerator and are as follows:

 

  • READ the Instructions before using the incinerator. Misuse of the incinerator may result in your tenancy being terminated
  • BURN only dry organic matter from your plot that cannot be composted or put in a dead hedge.
  • DO NOT burn wood that is painted or has plastic or nails/other metal in it. No pallets.
  • DO NOT bring in any material from outside the allotments to burn.
  • Keep children and pets away from the incinerator Always use gloves. The metal gets very hot.
  • DO NOT leave the incinerator unattended while it is hot, for safety reasons.
  • DO NOT use the incinerator when the café is open or games are going on at the cricket club.

 

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Rubbish

Please help minimise the amount of rubbish that accumulates on the site.

  • Do not bring onto your plot items that “may perhaps be useful”. This is how most allotment rubbish accumulates. If you have a planned use for a recycled item, bring it on site when you are ready to use it. Otherwise leave it at home or take it to the council recycling centre.
  • Dispose of your rubbish as it accumulates rather than waiting until there is a huge unmanageable quantity.
  • If you have items on your plot that you no longer want and you think might be of use to other plotholders, please advertise with your contact details on the assigned area of the noticeboard on the shed at the entrance to the site.
    Do not leave unwanted items anywhere other than on your own plot.
  • If you have inherited a lot of inorganic rubbish on your plot and want advice on how to dispose of it, please contact plotholderscommittee@rpa.org.uk

 

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Trees

Existing trees on plots must be constrained within the boundaries of the plot and not be allowed to encroach on paths/roads or cause a shade or root nuisance to neighbouring plots.

 

Please remove any self-sown broadleaf and conifer seedlings as these are not suitable on an allotment site.

 

If you wish to plant fruit trees on your plot, you should ensure that the rootstock is of a suitable dwarf variety and that the trees are planted a minimum of 5ft (1.5m) from paths.

 

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