Our Lease and Plot Rules include a reference to restrictions on the erection of sheds and other such structures on our sites. This document details those restrictions. It includes guidance on the way in which Site Managers should proceed when dealing with such matters.
In applying these principles, we should seek to be supportive of plot holders, encouraging them in improving their plots, whilst preventing that which is unreasonable.
Some overall restrictions are laid down in our Lease. These are not negotiable.
2. Scope of Guidance
2.1 Our Rules are intended to cover “necessary” structures. This is primarily aimed at regulating sheds, greenhouses, growing tunnels, fruit cages, etc., but the guidance may also be relevant to compost bins, bee hives, chicken houses, pergolas, etc.
2.2 This document does not seek to define various types of structure – allowing the Site Manager to use a common-sense approach. For example – a structure may be a combination of shed and greenhouse. In the case of doubt, matters should be referred to the Committee for a decision prior to granting consent.
2.3 As rules and guidance change from time to time, such changes shall not be applied retrospectively to existing structures. New structures erected without prior agreement may need to be removed or adjusted.
3.1 The plot holder is required to consult with and seek the consent of the Site Manager prior to the erection of any structures on the plot. The Site Manager should not unreasonably withhold this consent.
3.2 Any plot holder who commences with procurement and/or erection without such consent does so entirely at their risk and may be asked to remove any construction(s) at their expense.
3.3 Any relocated structure shall be deemed to be a new structure (even if on the same plot). Likewise, any extended structure shall be treated as a new one.
3.4 During the discussion(s) around consent, the Site Manager will provide guidance to the plot holder in line with this document.
4. Number of Structures
4.1 There is no fixed limit on the number of structures, save that the total quantity per plot be reasonable. All proposed structures must be deemed “necessary” to the plot. It may be considered reasonable to have a shed, plus a greenhouse and/or a growing tunnel or fruit cage – but, for example, if the sheds are small it may be reasonable to have two small ones instead of one larger one.
4.2 The size of the plot should not have a direct bearing in the number of structures (e.g. one whole plot does not have the same entitlement as four quarter plots in separate ownership). Focus is on the needs of the plot holder, not the size of the plot.
4.3 On sites other than Jessops - where a plot holder has multiple (and separate) plots, consideration should be given to the proximity of them to each other in considering the needs of the plot holder.
4.4 Where a plot holder is requesting additional structures on a plot, Site Managers should satisfy themselves that any existing structures are being correctly (and fully) utilised before granting permission for additional ones (e.g. an existing shed should not be a rubbish store if the tenant is requesting to build another).
4.5 The Jessops site has permanent concrete sheds provided, just sufficient for one per full plot. Where relevant these rules still apply. It follows from 4.2 that a plot-holder with more than one plot does not have access to more than one of these sheds. The sheds are quite large and will usually be shared between the occupants of a couple of half plots. The policy on this site is not to permit the construction of additional sheds where one of the permanent sheds is provided. However, this might be varied in special circumstances (for example where the shed provided is a long way from the plot). Allocation of sheds is the responsibility of the site manager.
5. Construction methods
5.1 Concrete and hard-core bases are not acceptable. Pad stones, pre-fabricated metal bases and timber base frames are acceptable.
5.2 Consideration must be given to the eventual removal (and potential disposal) of the structure by future tenants / Site Management.
5.3 Whilst the use of recycled materials is to be encouraged, structures should not constitute an eyesore for other plot holders.
5.4 All structures (perhaps especially greenhouses and polytunnels) must be securely anchored down to prevent strong winds from moving them.
6.1 Items from the prohibited materials list must not be used (see document HBAGA 002).
6.2 A structure covered entirely in netting can be variously called a fruit cage, a growing tunnel or a crop protection cage. The material used should be breathable of an open weave construction so that it can be seen through (e.g. bird netting / wire panels). In these notes the short term ‘fruit cage’ is used.
6.3 A structure covered with plastic sheeting, whether clear or opaque, becomes a polytunnel for the purposes of these notes.
6.4 Glass is not permitted in the construction of any structures. In the case of repairs, a substitute material (e.g. Perspex) must be used. Any relocation of a glass greenhouse requires that the glazing be fully replaced with an alternative.
6.5 Where there is a breakage of glass on an existing structure, the plot holder must replace any broken panes with an alternative and remove all broken glass from site for safe disposal.
6.6 Where chicken wire, or similar, is used in cages or cloches the ends must be secured / enclosed so as not to constitute a hazard.
7. 7. Sizes
7.1 Maximum sizes are detailed here. These are specified in our Lease and cannot be overridden. Whilst these are the maximum permitted sizes, the agreed size of any proposed structure(s) can be reduced at the discretion of the Site Manager.
Note that height is measured from the ground to the tallest part of the structure and includes the height of any base. Width and depth are taken from corner to corner, and exclude any drainpipes etc. The size relates to the enclosed part of a shed or similar structure. A projecting canopy (to provide shelter or a small sitting area) may be added.
There is no specified maximum area for a fruit cage as it might need to cover a large expanse of fruit trees and bushes and other crops. The site manager may need to restrict the size in special circumstances.
8.1 Once erected, the plot holder must maintain the structure in a good state of repair.
8.2 Whilst we encourage recycling, any paints and preservatives used on structures should not create an eyesore for other plot holders and must not be on the prohibited materials list.
8.3 Lack of maintenance to structures is to be treated as with any other type of neglect of the plot itself.
9.1 Once erected, the structure must be used for the intended purpose.
9.2 Structures should not become a repository for miscellaneous junk.
9.3 The contents of a structure must comply with our rules on accepted materials.
9.4 Under no circumstances should any structures house portable toilets or similar items.
10.1 The position of all proposed structures is subject to the discretion of the Site Manager.
10.2 Nothing should be erected on a full-size plot in a position that may cause a problem at a later date if the plot is divided.
10.3 Structures should not cast a (significant) shadow over adjacent plots, nor interfere with access onto surrounding plots or pathways.