Make it easier for us to build, say farmers

Ben Underwood ANL-151027-140526001
Ben Underwood ANL-151027-140526001
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The CLA is urging Ministers to make it easier for farmers and landowners in Lincolnshire to build on farm reservoirs, anaerobic digestion plants, and convert old agricultural buildings.

In a response to the Rural Planning Review Consultation, the CLA has reiterated its long-standing view the planning system should be revised so it’s easier for rural businesses to invest in new buildings and infrastructure, encouraging growth.

The organisation, which represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses across the eastern region, wants Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government to put in place a series of new permitted development rights. These would allow:

• The number of on-farm reservoirs to be increased, helping with the management of water and assisting with irrigation;

• Further flexibility when converting buildings into farm shops so as to sell more produce locally;

• Anaerobic digestion plants to be built more easily in order to better manage waste; and

• Polytunnels to be erected so more produce can be grown.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “We have seen success in helping farmers invest in their business as result of permitted development rights.

“The best thing Government can do to deliver growth in the countryside is put in place a number of additional permitted development rights.”

The CLA has also set out concerns about the continued resistance to the new planning approach established under the National Planning Policy Framework, in place since 2012.

Issues raised include the significant number of local authorities that still do not have an up-to-date Local Plan or plans that adequately address the need for rural economic development, and show continued resistance to much-needed development.

“There remains a significant barrier to economic development in the countryside from the planning system. Changes made under the National Planning Policy Framework have been positive, but still there is too much local resistance to change,” added Mr Underwood.

“We will continue to make the case for a national planning policy that strikes the right balance between preserving the uniqueness of our rural areas, the beauty of our landscapes, and promoting the economic development vital to the future of a living and working countryside.”