Plotholder rules

[November 2019]
The Loughton Potato Ground is a charity. LPG plotholders are members of a wider community of like-minded individuals, keen on growing their own fruits and vegetables and mindful of the broader needs of the community. Members are diligent in maintaining their own plots, respectful of their neighbours and helpful in the general maintenance of common areas. 
1)     Membership Dues
a.     Annual membership dues are payable in November of each year. Payments are best made at the Annual General Meeting which is usually held on the first Saturday in November.
b.     The deadline for payments is Nov. 30. Dues submitted after Nov. 30 incur a £5 penalty. Failure to submit a payment by Dec. 31 means forfeiture of the plot which will be let to someone on the waiting list.
c.     Cheques should be made payable to “Loughton Parochial Charities.”

2)     Care of Plots
a.     Plots may not be transferred or sublet to anyone else without the approval of the Secretary.
b.     Plotholders must keep plots clean and in a good state of cultivation and fertility. Undergrowth and weeds on any adjacent uncultivated plots should be chopped down to prevent seeding or spreading.
c.     Trees on a plot may not exceed 2.5 metes (eight feet) in height.
d.     Although the mowing of many paths and the trimming of some hedges is arranged by the LPG Committee, all pathways and hedges are the ultimate responsibility of the plotholders adjacent to them.
e.     In the case of prolonged absence, plotholders should notify the Secretary of arrangements in place to keep the plot in good order.
f.      Barbed or razor wire may not be used under any circumstances,
g.     Plotholders should be vigilant for vandals and thieves.
h.     The Secretary or any Committee member should be notified immediately of any apparent encroachment over LPG boundaries.
i.       Dogs may be taken onto the LPG provided they are kept on a lead.
j.       Members of the LPG Committee and Trustees have the right to inspect plots at any time.
k.     Cooperation with committee members:
We ask that members adhere to the plotholder rules. Failure to comply with a request by any committee member within one week will result in a first warning. If there is no response or action taken after another week, a second warning will be sent. After another week, a third and final warning will be issued, after which the plot must be surrendered back to Loughton Potato Ground. One week will then be allowed for the removal of tools and equipment, which if unclaimed, will be offered to other members. Flexibility with this rule is at the discretion of the committee.
l.       Plot boundary lines may not be extended or altered, except where prior agreement has been sought from the committee.

3)     Bonfires
a.     Bonfires are still legally permitted but, to maintain that right, ensure they aren’t a nuisance to neighbouring houses, especially on warmer days when windows are likely to be open or on windy days when the smoke may be driven directly towards neighbouring houses.
b.     Bonfires are not allowed on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays.
c.     Bonfires must not be used to dispose of domestic rubbish or non-organic material such as rubber, oil or plastics. Consider composting suitable waste instead of burning.
d.     To reduce smoke, only burn dry materials.
e.     Fires must not be left unattended.

4)     Sheds and Storage
a.     No buildings are permitted on plots, except small storage boxes, compost containers and low level cold frames.
b.     Fruit cages may not exceed two meters in height (6 ½ feet) and must be kept in good order.
c.     Any structure, excluding plant supports, that exceeds 1.2 meters (four feet) needs prior approval from the secretary.

5)     Pesticides and Weedkillers
a.     Use of pesticides and fertilizers should be limited and well controlled to minimise side effects or dispersal on neighbouring plots.
b.     Do not overdose with pesticides and do not spray in windy conditions.
c.     Keep all chemicals away from all water sources and store them in secure boxes or off-site.
d.     The use of organic approved pesticides and weed killers are encouraged. Do not use others unless absolutely necessary.
·       Use of pesticides and weed killers should be limited and well controlled to minimise side effects or dispersal on neighbouring plots. Do not spray in windy conditions.
·       Pesticides and weed killers should only be applied using a small handheld spray. Spraying large areas of an allotment is forbidden.
·       Keep all chemicals away from all water sources and store them in secure boxes or

6)     Water
a.     Piped water at the 13 standpipes on the LPG is available from mid-March to late October, depending on frost conditions.
b.     Hosepipes from the standpipes may not be used to water plots directly but may be used to fill water butts on individual plots.
c.     Year on year review:
·  Plotholders may use hoses connected to the standpipes to water their plots
·  Plotholders must provide their own hoses and fixtures and agree with neighbouring plotholders on the type of standpipe fixtures
·  Hoses fitted with spray guns to minimise waste are preferred, but twist nozzles are acceptable providing hoses are hand-held and not left unattended with water running
·  Use of a hose is limited to about 20 minutes
·  All hoses must be rolled up and kept on individual plots when not in use
·  Be careful when dragging hoses around to prevent damage to neighbouring plots
d.     Report any damaged standpipes or leakages to the Secretary immediately.

7)     Gates and Security
a.     All gates must be closed whenever no cars are parked inside the LPG. In practice, this means that the last car out must ensure the gate is closed.
b.     As good neighbours, the LPG grants access to walkers but plotholders should ensure such walkers stay on the footpaths, keep any dogs on leads and clean-up after their dogs.

8)     Private Access to LPG
a.     Members with a plot immediately adjacent to their permanent residence may install a simple and secure one-door gate to the LPG grounds with written permission from the LPG committee. Such gate is to allow access to the plot for cultivation of fruits and vegetables but not to extend a private garden.
b.     The gate must be removed upon surrender of the plot or change of residence by the plotholder.
c.     The LPG committee reserves the right to revoke this privilege at any time.

9)     LPG Committee and Organisation
a.     The LPG Committee has no fixed number of members but should not be less than six members or more than 10. A quorum of Members at Committee meetings shall be half the number of Members on the Committee
b.     Committee Members are elected at the Annual and General Meeting. New Members may be nominated with two seconding plotholders at the meeting and removal of Members may be proposed at the AGM with two seconding plotholders. In both cases, a majority of attendees at the AGM must then vote in favour of the proposal for it to pass.
c.     A Special Meeting of all plotholders may be called at any time by the Committee or by any plotholder supported by a petition signed by 20 other plotholders.
d.     Additions or amendments to LPG rules require the approval of a majority of members attending Annual or Special meetings. Effective rules are those posted on the LPG website.
e.     Applications for LPG membership will be restricted to residents of Loughton, including Debden, when there is a waiting list.
f.      These rules are commonsense and a matter of consideration to our allotment community.
Any matters arising, not provided for by these rules shall be decided by the committee.