Disposal of Allotment Land

May 13th, 2019 by James Goudie KC

The main issue in R (Adamson) v Kirklees MBC (2019) EWHC 1129 (Admin) was whether the Council was obliged to obtain the consent of the Minister before deciding to dispose of certain land in its area currently in use as allotments by the claimant and others. That depended on whether the Council had “appropriated” that land for use as allotments, within Section 8 of the Allotments Act 1925, as amended. If it had, it could not dispose of the land without the consent of the Minister. The Council had not applied for such consent.

The Council wanted to use the land as part of the site of a new primary school it has decided to build. Mr Adamson is in favour of the new primary school but says it should not include the allotment land, unless the Minister agrees to that. He wishes to put the case to the Minister that the primary school site should be differently arranged so as to spare the allotment land. He and his fellow allotment holders were not satisfied with alternative allotment land offered to them by the Council.

Kerr J held that:-

  1. There is no required formal procedure for appropriation: paragraph 113;
  2. Whether appropriation occurred was a fact sensitive evaluation: paragraph 114;
  3. A considered and conscious decision had been taken, recorded in committee minutes, that the land should be zoned for use as allotments: paragraph 115;
  4. The appropriation issue must be determined in favour of Mr Adamson: paragraph 126; and
  5. The claim succeeded: paragraph 153.

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