By politics.co.uk staff
Britain's chronic shortage of allotments could be solved by reallocating funding from landfill tax, the Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed.
Growing environmental awareness has seen waiting lists for allotment rapidly lengthen in recent years, but the last 30 years has seen the loss of 200,000 allotments totalling over 11 square miles.
The LGA, which represents over 350 councils in England and Wales, wants the government to permit money from the landfill communities fund to be made available to pay for new allotment developments.
At present a landfill communities panel funds projects within ten miles of an active landfill site. Under present rules allotments are excluded from funding because they are used by individuals, rather than the wider general public.
"Allotments are a fantastic way of understanding where food comes from and of having a go at growing your own. Nowadays allotments are the preserve of Jamie Oliver as much as Arthur Fowler," the LGA's environment board chairman Gary Porter said.
"Urgent action must be taken to meet this growing demand and allowing councils to use money raised from landfill tax to bring derelict land and empty spaces back into use would help meet this demand as well as improving the appearance of local areas."
A Treasury spokesperson said changes to the six 'objects' of the landfill communities fund could only be made by the chancellor as part of the normal Budget process.