WLAA Rules & Conditions

Below you will find the Rules & Conditions for all Tenants in full.   These include amendments made as a result of a thorough review in November 2017 as well as important changes about the use of your data introduced as a result of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. Any other changes to our Rules made at committee meetings during the year will be ratified at the AGM in the following January. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.




Dated: May 2018  


On 9th December 2016, Whipton Lane Allotment Association (WLAA) took over self-management of Whipton Lane Allotments for a period of ten years from that date with the option to curtail after the initial three year period.

Whipton Lane Allotment Association’s Rules and Conditions are based largely on the City Council’s Rules that were in force prior to our site becoming self-managed.  Certain rules have been changed to be specific to the Whipton Lane Allotments site, and also as a result of a majority vote at WLAA Committee meetings.

These Rules (dated May 2018) supersede any previous rules in force on Whipton Lane Allotments.

These rules were completely reviewed in May 2018.  Any further changes will be made only as and when necessary at an Annual General Meeting.  Any Tenant can put forward a suggested amendment to the Rules, suggest that a Rule is removed or a new Rule introduced at a committee meeting provided that there is a proposer and seconder for any change.

General rules

a) Each Tenant (plot-holder) is bound by the WLAA’s Rules and Conditions and by any relevant current legislation.

b) These Rules may be amended from time to time and a copy of these will be made available to Tenants. See ‘Notification’ in Appendix.

c) Failure to comply with the Rules or conditions of tenancy will result in action being taken to terminate the tenancy. WLAA accepts no responsibility for loss by accident, fire, theft or damage on any Allotment. Tenants are advised not to store any items of value on the allotment. (WLAA has obtained Public Liability insurance for each tenant – please see WLAA Secretary for details.)

d) Any costs incurred by the WLAA in undertaking works in default of a Notice or clearing away any material at the termination of the tenancy will be recharged to the Tenant.

e) At the commencement of the tenancy, the Tenant shall assume responsibility for all items on the Allotment.

f) WLAA reserves the right to alter, amend or suspend these rules in relation to a specific Tenancy.

g) As our landlord, Exeter City Council retains rights of inspection of both plots and Committee documents regarding the running of the Allotment Association

h) Terms and Interpretation are explained in the Appendix.




Sub-letting, Trespass and Tenant’s Responsibility towards Visitors




1.1 The Tenancy of an Allotment is personal to the Tenant named on the agreement

1.2 The Tenant may not assign or sublet all or part of their Allotment or structures on that Allotment

1.3 The Tenant may appoint authorised helpers to share the use of the Allotment and or structures by agreement with the WLAA Committee.

1.4 The Tenant or their visitors must not enter onto or cross another Allotment without the express permission of the Tenant of that Allotment or in the case of a vacant Allotment, the WLAA Committee.  Persistent trespassing will result in the termination of the tenancy.

1.5 Children brought on to the site must be closely supervised at all times and not allowed to access any other Allotment other than the Tenant’s.  The Tenant is also responsible for the behaviour of any adults visiting the Allotment as their guests. 




Cultivation and Weed Control


2.1 There will be two main inspections each year in spring and summer, the dates for which will be published in advance. The committee may also decide to have an autumn inspection and reserve the right to inspect the whole site or individual plots throughout the year whenever they feel this to be necessary. 

2.2 The Allotment is let on the condition that it is maintained in a state of proper Cultivation and must be maintained in such a manner that 60% of the area is in a state of active Cultivation unless by agreement with the WLAA Committee.

2.3 It is the Tenant’s responsibility to keep the Allotment free of weeds & seeds that may cause a nuisance to adjoining Tenants.




Trees, Hedges and Invasive Plants




3.1 The planting of new trees on the Allotment is restricted to those on dwarfing root stocks. 

3.2 Tenants must not, without the consent of the adjacent plot holders and the WLAA Committee, cut or prune any trees outside their own Allotment.

3.3 Large or invasive plants including (but not confined to) bamboo, willow and forms of hazel may not be grown on the Allotment.

3.4 Tenants are responsible for maintaining any hedge or fence on their Allotment. Hedges abutting the Allotment should be trimmed so as not to obstruct pedestrian or vehicular access or restrict the use of adjoining Allotments.




Water Storage and Ponds




4.1 Ponds must be temporary and should not be constructed of concrete or any other hard landscape material. All ponds should be sited at least 2 metres’ distance from any Principal Path or path.

4.2 The maximum surface area for a pond is 2.5 square metres and must be no deeper than 50cm deep. Ponds must be protected sufficiently to prevent potential accidents.

4.3 For reasons of safety, water storage containers must be suitable and deemed appropriate by the WLAA Committee for the purpose.

4.4 Pond and water storage containers will form part of the allowable 40%  non-cultivation percentage.




Allotment Use and Storage




5.1 Tenants may use the Allotment only for those horticulture purposes that WLAA deems appropriate and must not carry out any business from it or sell any produce.

5.2 Only materials for use on the Allotment may be stored there, such as beanpoles, cloches, pots and netting for seasonal use.  Storage of other items is not permitted. 




Water, Bonfires & Other Restrictions




6.1 Hosepipes or similar siphoning devices are not to be used to remove water from any water trough and Tenants must take every precaution to prevent contamination of the troughs or water supplies, e.g. tools and containers should not be rinsed in the troughs.

6.2  The water supply to the site will be generally turned off between the 1 October and 1 April to avoid frost damage to pipes

6.3 In line with Exeter City Council Rules for other Allotment Sites in the city, bonfires are only permitted each year between 1 September and 31 March as follows:
1 – 30 September:
Every Tuesday and Saturday from 12 noon until dusk

1 October – 31 March:
Every Tuesday and the first Saturday of the month from 12noon until dusk.

6.4   No material other than that produced on the Allotment may be burnt and only dry vegetable material may be burnt.

6.5  The use of accelerants is prohibited.

6.6  In order to comply with the terms of our Public Liability insurance, when having a bonfire, these additional Rules apply to the Whipton Lane Allotment site:

– Tenants’ bonfires must be attended at all times by a responsible adult.

– Bonfires must be sited within your allotment in a cleared area where there are no overhanging branches and at a safe distance from grass, shrub and all property including buildings, equipment, fences and vehicles and no less than ten metres from any property located outside the allotment site boundary.

– There must be a shovel nearby and sufficient water to extinguish your bonfire.

– Bonfires must be fully extinguished with water when you have finished with it. You must not use sand or dirt for this purpose instead.

6.7 All potentially hazardous materials should be removed from the allotment site and disposed of at the relevant civic amenity site.

6.8  Tenants may not remove soil from the site.

6.9  Nuisance to neighbours must be avoided.

6.10 Mechanical Noise
Plot holders must comply with Environment Protection Act regulations which cover the use of power tools and other mechanical equipment. These rules restrict the use of any electric/mechanical power tool, chain or circular saw, gas or air compressor, pneumatic power tool, hammer and any other impacting tool or grinding equipment as follows:

Monday to Friday:
not to be used before 7am or after 8pm

Weekends and public holidays:
not to be used before 9am or after 8pm




Waste Materials and Pollutants




7.1 Small amounts of compostable waste e.g. vegetable peelings, fruit and teabags may be brought from home to be added to compost bins but no other household waste may be brought to the allotment site. In addition, bulk deliveries of manure such as mushroom compost or horse manure are permitted to be used across the plot as mulches/ fertilisers. 

7.2 Compostable material originating from the Allotment must be stored for use in a composter or purpose-built enclosure.

7.3 The use of concrete for shed bases, glass houses or for paving, or any solid brick and cement structures is not permitted. (Dry laid concrete slabs are permitted)

7.4 The Tenant must not allow any decaying matter to remain on the Allotment Garden which may cause a nuisance or annoyance to others.




Structures Paths and Fences




8.1 The written permission of the WLAA is required before any structure may be placed on an Allotment. 

8.2 Any structure on the Allotment must be temporary and must be maintained in safe condition.

8.3 Structures shall be made from non-hazardous materials and shall be in keeping with the general environment. The use of tyres and similar materials is not permitted.

8.4 If the WLAA Committee is not satisfied with the condition of the structure the Tenant must either repair it to the WLAA’s satisfaction or remove the structure within 4 weeks of an instruction to do so.

8.5 WLAA as an Allotment Association is subject to an Allotment Management Agreement with Exeter City Council who may limit the size of structures specific to our site.

8.6 The Tenant must remove any items or derelict structures from their Allotment before the end of their tenancy.


Fixing, location, size and materials for Structures


9.1 Structures must be adequately secured to prevent collapse.

9.2 Structures must be kept within the boundary of the Allotment and must not be constructed over underground utilities (e.g. water supply pipes).

9.3 Solid fences adjacent to neighbours’ Allotments must not exceed 1 metre in height and wire and trellis fences should not exceed 1.5 metres in height.

9.4 The use of barbed wire (or similar) is prohibited

9.5 No materials, plant or structures are to be attached to Council fencing


Paths & Principal Paths


10.1 All paths between Allotments must be maintained at a minimum of 600mm (2 feet) wide and be cut and maintained to the nearest half width by each adjoining Tenant.

10.2 Paths must be kept clear of obstructions at all times

10.3 Principal Paths must not be obstructed or parked on by vehicles.


Animals on the site 


11.1  Dogs must not be brought onto any Allotment unless they are kept on a lead or otherwise restrained at all times. Dogs must not be allowed to foul the site or stray onto other Allotments.

11.2 The burial of animals on any Allotment land is strictly forbidden.

11.3 No animals or livestock (other than chickens, bees or stock rabbits) may be kept overnight on site.

11.4 Any Allotment holder contemplating keeping bees on their Allotment must contact the WLAA Committee so that they can contact the Council in order to get a Bee Agreement finalised and agreed by all parties prior to the bees being sourced.

11.5 Any plot holder contemplating keeping stock rabbits on their Allotment must contact the WLAA committee first, so that secure housing can be discussed, as well as views of plot neighbours.

11.6 A maximum of ten chickens may be kept on any ten Rods of Allotment Garden.

11.7 A maximum of one Rod of each 10 Rods of Allotment Garden may be used for keeping chickens.

11.8  Tenants who wish to keep chickens or bees on Allotments smaller than 10 Rods (approx 250 sq m) must obtain the prior written consent of the WLAA so to do.

11.9 Any part of the Allotment used for keeping chickens must be securely and adequately fenced to the satisfaction of the WLAA Committee.

11.10   It is to be expected that wild animals such as foxes and badgers will be found on the allotment site.  These animals are protected and measures cannot be taken to remove them.  However, tenants should not feed or otherwise encourage the presence of such animals.








12.1 Rents will be reviewed by the WLAA Committee prior to 1 October each year.  Any changes will be in line with agreement at a Committee meeting or AGM.

12.2 Full rent is payable by all new Tenants. Prior to September 2014 eligible Tenants were granted a discount at age 60 and this concession continues for those Tenants only.

12.3 Changes to rent will apply to all tenants irrespective of whether the individual tenant has been advised of the increase and will be effective from 1 October.

12.4 If the rent remains unpaid for a period of more than 40 days from the due date, the Allotment shall be considered vacant and will be re-let.

12.5 The rent year runs from 1 October each year. Tenants taking up an allotment within the rent year will be required to pay for the remainder of the year pro rata.

12.6  A Tenant may relinquish their Allotment at any time, or have their tenancy terminated for breach of the tenancy agreement before year end but no rebate will be payable.




Observance of Rules




13.1 New versions of Rules will be emailed or sent by letter from the WLAA Committee for those tenants with no email address. They will also be added to our website.  File copies will also be kept in the Trading Hut and a notice indicating that the Rules have been updated will be displayed on Site notice boards.

13.2 Tenants must comply with any reasonable or legitimate directions given by the WLAA Committee in relation to an allotment or site.

13.3 It is the Tenant’s responsibility to notify the WLAA Committee in writing if they are unable, for health or other reasons, to maintain their Allotment.

13.4 If a Tenant fails to use or keep their Allotment in compliance with these Rules they shall be served a Warning Notice giving them 4 weeks to remedy the situation as specified.

13.5  Failure to comply with the requirements of the Warning Notice will result in a Notice to Quit the Allotment.

13.6 The Notice to Quit will require the Tenant to deliver vacant possession of the Allotment within 4 weeks of the date of service of the Notice.

13.7 A Warning Notice will be served before a Notice to Quit except where in the opinion of the WLAA Committee the use of the Allotment or the behaviour of those associated with it is such that the Tenancy should be terminated immediately.

13.8 If a Tenant has already received two Warning Notices within the previous five years,  a Notice to Quit will be served without a prior Warning Notice should the Allotment again become uncultivated.

13.9 An Authorised Officer reserves the right to enter onto the Allotment without prior notice to inspect the condition of a plot or undertake groundwork or emergency repairs.




Site Safety and Security




14.1 No Tenant may cause or permit harassment, alarm or distress to another occupier or user of the Site.

14.2 It is the responsibility of the Tenant to ensure that their use and occupation of the Allotment does not represent a danger to themselves or others visiting the Site.

14.3 Anything on the Allotment which is considered hazardous by the WLAA Committee and/or an Officer of the Council shall be removed by the Tenant at their own cost.  In particular, removal of broken glass from the plot is the ongoing responsibility of the Tenant. 

14.4 Storage of fuels, other than small amounts (5 litres) for immediate use is prohibited.

14.5 All Tenants must lock gates on entry and departure to prevent access by unauthorised people or animals. This applies even if the gate is found to be already unlocked on arrival / departure.

14.6 Tenants should not carry out any other actions that would compromise the security of the site.

14.7 Nothing shall be done on the Allotment that will cause a nuisance to users of the other Allotments or residents with property adjoining the Site.

14.8 Only garden chemicals available for purchase at a normal retail outlet and intended for domestic use may be used on the Allotment.  Such approved chemicals are to be labelled and kept under lock and key. 

14.9 Water butts must be stable and securely covered to avoid injury or drowning.

14.10 Keys and /or lock combinations will be issued to Tenants and keys must be returned at the end of the tenancy. Keys and/or lock combinations must not be shared with unauthorised third parties.  Tenants should not have keys copied, either for spares for themselves or for giving to third parties due to historical problems with our padlocks.  Official key copies (engraved with initials WL) can be obtained from our Membership Secretary in exchange for a £10 deposit.   




Vehicles, Tents and Caravans




15.1  Motor vehicles may only be parked within a designated parking area, and may not be parked on cultivated land except for unloading.

15.2 Caravans and live-in vehicles are not permitted on any Allotment land overnight.

15.3 The overnight use of tents or other temporary structures is not permitted on the Site.




Allotment Numbering and Notices




16.1 Tenants must mark the Allotment number on the outside of a shed or greenhouse, or on a post, and keep it visible from the Principal Path or main access path.

16.2 Allotment notice boards are mainly intended for the display of WLAA and Council information. Tenants wishing to display a notice e.g. to advertise a shed for sale, should contact the WLAA Secretary.




Change of Address and Notices




17.2 Tenants must immediately inform the WLAA Committee by email or in writing of changes of address and contact details.

17.3 If a Tenant moves to an address outside of the boundary of the Exeter their tenancy will be terminated.

17.4  Notices to be served by WLAA on the Tenant may be sent to the Tenant’s address in the Tenancy Agreement (or as subsequently notified to the Council under these rules) by ordinary post or served on the Tenant personally or placed on the Allotment.

17.5 Written information for the WLAA should be sent to the WLAA Secretary or, if concerned with payment of rents, to the Treasurer.  Letters can be left for their attention in the Trading Hut.




Tenancy Termination




18.1 The Tenancy will be terminated where the right of occupation of the land by the Council is terminated.

18.2 Otherwise the WLAA Committee will give the tenant 4 weeks’ written Notice to Quit if:

– The rent has been in arrears for 40 days or more (whether formally demanded or not)

– The Tenant is in breach of any of these Rules or of their tenancy agreement

– The Tenant no longer resides within Exeter

– The Tenant has given 4 weeks’ notice to terminate the Tenancy either by post to the Membership Secretary of the WLAA Committee giving details of the Allotment name and the Allotment number.

18.3  Upon the death of a Tenant, a close family member (or in exceptional circumstances a person with a prior connection to the allotment) may apply to WLAA within four weeks to take over the Tenancy. This application will be considered sympathetically by the WLAA Committee.

18.4  The WLAA Committee accepts no responsibility for structures left on the allotment at the termination of the tenancy.  Any such structures should be removed by the outgoing tenant unless it is left by agreement in writing with the WLAA Committee for the benefit of the incoming tenant or others on the site.

18.5 Any costs incurred by the WLAA Committee in respect of the condition of the allotment at the termination of the tenancy will be recharged to the outgoing tenant.


New Tenants


19.1  Within 3 months of becoming a Tenant, newcomers must be shown to have undertaken the specified level of progress or cultivation agreed at the start of the tenancy. Failure to do so will result in the tenancy being reviewed and possibly terminated.


Data protection


20.1 It is a condition of the tenancy that all Whipton Lane Allotments’ Tenants must be members of The National Allotment Society (NAS) in order for Public Liability insurance cover to be obtained on their behalf through Shield Total Insurance. By agreeing to this, Tenants should be aware that their name and address will be disclosed to NAS to comply with the Financial Conduct Authority regulations only. NAS will not disclose these details to any third party.


20.2 WLAA data protection policy will always comply with current data protection legislation.  For example, any Authorised Officers who have, for administration reasons, access to Tenants’ private information will not pass this information outside the membership of the WLAA committee without the Tenant’s prior permission.


Interpretation of Rules, Disputes etc




21.1 Interpretation of these Rules will be made by the serving officers of the WLAA Committee.

21.2 If neighbouring Tenants cannot agree over an issue and wish the WLAA committee to decide whether any Rule has been broken, details of all complaints should be sent to the Secretary in writing. 

21.3 Where there is a dispute between the Tenant and the serving officers of the WLAA Committee and no agreement can be reached, either party can request the WLAA Trustees to arbitrate.

21.4 The WLAA Trustees’ decision is final in any dispute.


Appendix  – Terms and Interpretation


Terms and Interpretation

In these Rules the words used are to have the following meaning:

Allotment: An Allotment Garden (as defined Allotment Act 1922) is an area of land that is let by the Council for the cultivation of vegetable crops, fruit, flowers and herbs.

Authorised Officer: Whipton Lane Allotment Association (WLAA) Officer delegated by the Committee to perform the function.

Cultivation: Cultivation means keeping the Allotment in good productive order or maintained in a manner acceptable to the serving Committee of the WLAA. It requires the maintenance and improvement of soil, the control and prevention of flowering weeds and self-set plants which may be a nuisance to other tenants, the production of ornamental plants, vegetable crops, fruit, flowers and herbs. A proportion of the land may lie fallow as part of crop rotation.  When inspecting plots to judge whether plots meet the 60% cultivation level, committee members will take into account what is appropriate to the season.

Notice:  A formal direction to an individual Tenant served under the Conditions of their Tenancy (whether oral or in writing)

Notification: Any general information regarding the management of the Allotments which will be displayed as follows

  • Direct email to Tenant where WLAA holds an email address for that Tenant
  • By Notices on the Notice Boards at both Entrances of the Allotment site
  • In the Trading Hut (where applicable)

Paths: Dividing paths between Allotments.

Principal Path: A common route within the site for vehicular and pedestrian access to allotments.

Rent: The annual rent payable for the tenancy of an Allotment. This includes cost of membership to The National Allotment Society and individual Public Liability insurance.

Site: Any area of Allotments that are grouped together.

Structure: A building, shed, greenhouse, shelter, hard standing, animal run or hutch or poly tunnel.

Tenancy agreement: A legally binding written document which together with the Rules and Conditions records the terms of letting of a particular allotment(s). The Tenancy confers rights, privileges and responsibilities to the Tenant over the Allotment and shared facilities of the site.

Tenant: A person that resides within the City boundary who holds the Tenancy Agreement and is the primary user of an Allotment. (This person is often informally referred to as a Plot-holder and the terms are interchangeable)

The Allotment Association – Whipton Lane Allotment Association (WLAA)