Laura Sharman 12 February 2016

Review launched into boosting rural economy

Review launched into boosting rural economy

The Government has launched a Rural Planning Review in a bid to reduce regulatory burdens and boost the rural economy.

The review is calling for evidence on how the planning system can be reformed to support the creation of new housing, jobs and innovation such as reforming the rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use.

Communities secretary Greg Clark, said: ‘The need for new homes doesn’t stop where our cities end, it’s just as real in rural towns and villages that need new housebuilding to keep thriving.

‘That’s why we are looking carefully at how our planning reforms can deliver this whilst at the same time ensuring local people have more control over planning and the Green Belt continues to be protected.’

The Rural Planning Review is part of the government’s Rural Productivity Plan, launched last year.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, called on the Government to implement a number of immediate planning changes that would boost growth and investment in rural areas.

CLA president Ross Murray said: '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.'

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