Gardeners north of the border were celebrating after the Scottish Parliament approved a Bill that’s designed to protect allotments for future generations.

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The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS) lobbied for amendments to the Bill, so it would become harder for local authorities to dispose of sites.

A spokesman said: “Statutory protection for allotments in Scotland is now stronger than in the rest of the UK, and reverses the previous position which has resulted in nearly 90 per cent of Scotland’s allotments disappearing since the Second World War.”

The Bill defines a standard plot as being 250 square metres, but allows people to ask for a smaller plot if a full-size one is too large to manage.

SAGS spokesman Mark Thirgood said: “The revised Bill recognises the unique nature of Scotland’s allotments and the contribution they make to food policy, health and wellbeing.”

Local authorities will be required to maintain a central waiting list of people who want a plot, and take “reasonable steps” to increase allotment provision if the number of people on the waiting list exceeds 50 per cent of the number of existing plots – or if anyone has been on the waiting list for five years or more.

The Bill states that plot rents must be fair to reflect the services provided.