‘Time to revive the rural economy’

06 August 2020

The Government has today (August 6th) published its White Paper: Planning for the Future.

 Following this announcement, CLA Director of External Affairs Jonathan Roberts said:

“Everyone knows the planning system has been in need of overhaul for many years.  And whilst there are some positive developments, at present the Planning White Paper represents a missed opportunity for the countryside.

“Of course, we should protect vital environmental assets, but the countryside is not a museum and by not including it in its ‘growth’ category, Government is ignoring the huge economic potential of the rural economy.

“We know many individuals and businesses are wanting to escape to the countryside.  At the same time, we have many farmers desperate to convert disused buildings into modern office space – but they are being restricted from doing so by a planning system that appears designed to hold the economy back.

“With high levels of rural poverty, and village schools, pubs and shops closing, now is the time to revive the rural economy by facilitating job creation and growth.  The Planning White Paper proposes little that would achieve that.”