Ministers can implement a number of immediate planning changes that would boost opportunities for growth and investment in rural areas, says the CLA.
The organisation, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has made its comments in response to the ‘Rural planning review: Call for Evidence’, jointly published today by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
CLA President Ross Murray said: “We applaud the Ministers’ initiative in seeking ideas on how to improve growth and productivity in rural areas by removing barriers in the planning system. We have a number of specific examples that we will be pressing them to take action on as a matter of urgency.
“The introduction of permitted development rights to convert agricultural buildings has been a successful initiative with over 2,200 additional rural homes granted approval in just under two years. It is a sensible way to get the homes we need and bring buildings back into use. The rural economy would be boosted by similar rights allowing small scale agricultural buildings, on-farm reservoirs and polytunnels.
“We support all efforts to encourage organic growth of our villages and we will set out how we think the Government can build on the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure we are creating the opportunity for new jobs and homes in rural areas.”
The deadline for submissions to this call for evidence is the 21 April 2016.
The CLA set out the importance of planning reform to delivering growth in Standing Up for Rural Businesses launched in January 2016 (www.cla.org.uk/node/7738)