Government seeks feedback on the rural planning system


Ministers have called upon rural businesses and residents to give their views on the barriers facing the rural planning system…

A new consultation has been launched to give the government an overview of the areas that present difficulties in the rural planning process.

In a call for feedback, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched a new consultation: ‘Rural planning review: call for evidence’.

The consultation opened yesterday and will give those with an interest in rural areas the opportunity to provide their views on how the planning system is working and how it can be improved. Submissions must be provided by 21 April.

In response to the consultation, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has urged ministers to act to improve the planning process in rural areas.

The organisation, which represents landowners, farmers, and rural businesses, said a number of immediate changes to the planning system would boost opportunities for growth and investment.

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.”

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