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Planning Policy Must Include Economic Value of Farming

07 January 2010
National Farmers Union

UK - NFU lobbying has resulted in a win for farmers with new planning policy aimed at giving rural areas without access to public transport equal status. Previous planning guidelines said developments in rural areas without access to transport links were not sustainable.

Lobbying has also seen the new planning policy statement 'Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth', which was published in 2009 for consultation, now include the recommendations of the Taylor Review on the Rural Economy and Affordable Housing. It also paints a truer picture of rural life.

However the NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond wants to see the policy go further to boost rural communities including a planning policy that includes the value of farming to the economy.

"Vigorous lobbying by the NFU appears to have had the desired affect with the final document reflecting more accurately the realities of rural life and the importance of supporting rural areas through a fair and balanced planning policy," said Mr Raymond.

"We engaged with the consultation on behalf of our members and we are hopeful that farmers and growers will receive a more positive response from local authorities when they apply for permission for new agricultural buildings or propose farm diversification projects.

"However, it is unfortunate that the importance of farming to the rural economy is not more fully recognised and we are lobbying the Government to see a change in priorities."

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