CLA's Rural Powerhouse campaign helps secure cuts to planning system red tape

Government also launches £24m Planning Skills Delivery Fund to clear backlogs
The CLA's Rural Powerhouse campaign seeks to close the urban-rural economic divide.

Government plans to cut planning red tape and launch a £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund to help clear backlogs have been welcomed by the CLA.

The announcements, made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Housing and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, follow constant lobbying through our Rural Powerhouse campaign.

Among the measures announced include:

  • Red tape will be cut to enable barn conversions and the repurposing agricultural buildings and disused warehouses.
  • The immediate launch of a £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund to clear backlogs and get the right skills in place.
  • The setting up of a new “super-squad” team of leading planners and other experts charged with working across the planning system to unblock major housing developments. The team will first be deployed in Cambridge.

Country Land and Business Association President Mark Tufnell said:

“The CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign has been pushing for a planning system that is better resourced, smoother to navigate and enables farmers and landowners to convert barns and repurpose agricultural buildings more easily.

“We welcome this announcement and are pleased the government is beginning to recognise the direct relationship between economic growth and planning reform.

“The rural economy is 19% less productive than the national average. Closing that gap would add an estimated £43bn to the economy, so the government must now act with urgency to deliver these promises and match the ambition of rural businesses at every turn.”

The announcements follow the government's report last month, ‘Unleashing Rural Opportunity’, which set out its plans to boost rural communities by improving planning, housing, digital connectivity, transport, jobs and tackling rural crime.

You can read more about the report here.

The CLA's Rural Powerhouse campaign

The CLA's Rural Powerhouse Campaign seeks to unleash the potential of the rural economy, creating skilled jobs and stronger communities in the process.

See our campaign hub.