The Non-domestic Private Rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards: The future Trajectory to 2030

The CLA has responded to the Government's consultation: Non-domestic Private Rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards: future trajectory to 2030 which proposes to set a minimum EPC rating of band B by 2030.

In our response, we highlight the unique challenge faced by rural commercial buildings given they are off-gas grid and mainly of traditional construction as well as other concerns, such as the assessment methodology, the parallel introduction of tightening domestic minimum requirements and the difficulties of the seven-year payback test.

Challenges and Choices

The CLA has responded to the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) 'Challenges and Choices' consultation on water management in Wales.  CLA Cymru called for NRW to ensure farmers and landowners are represented in any decisions on water issues, that water for food production to be highly prioritised and for all aspects of water management to be looked at in conjunction, including flooding, water quality, abstraction and pollution.

Delivery of Housing through the Planning System

The CLA have responded to the Welsh Government consultation: 'Delivery of housing through the planning system' which proposes to reform the monitoring mechanism of housing delivery.

The CLA have responded to this consultation and made clear that the under-supply of housing in Wales cannot be solved by changing the monitoring mechanism, but requires planning authorities to have up to date local development plans, be properly resourced, skilled and funded and encourage the development of smaller sites.

A New Deal for Renting

The CLA has responded to the Government consultation: "A New Deal for Renting - Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants" which proposes the abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

We have argued strongly against these proposals, given multiple reasons why they would not work in practice and highlighted the serious unforeseen consequences of pursuing such a policy.

In order to be constructive, if reforms are to be made, we have suggested alternative approaches that we believe would work in practice and be fairer to landlords and tenants.

We have emphasised the vital importance of flexibility when it comes to providing accommodation for emmployees and argued in the strongest terms that the efficiency of the rural economy and the very sustainability of rural communities will be adversely affected by these proposals.

We are very grateful to the many members who shared their thoughts and views with us and to those who have responded individually to this consultation.  Whilst the consultation deadline has now passed, the fight carries on and we would still encourage members to lobby their MPs on this issue so that the voice of rural landlords continues to be heard.

Agriculture, achieving net-zero emissions inquiry

The CLA has responded to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry on agriculture, achieving net-zero emissions.  In our response, we highlight that landowners and managers are crucial to achieving net-zero across the economy.  The ambition to achieve net-zero for the sector should be reframed to look at the full range of positive contributions from farmers and landowners towards the national obligation rather than focussing on the sector specific emissions.

Flooding and Coastal Erosion

The CLA has responded to Defra's Call for Evidence on key flood and coastal issues to help develop a flood and coastal erosion and national infrastructure strategy.  Our evidence outlined the importance of resilience to flood and coastal erosion for farmers and landowners, as in farming the speed of recovery is often slow due to the production cycle, and costs can be very high.  Farmers and landowners have long dealt with changeable weather events and are able to cope well, however, their resilience is dependent on good drainage, well-maintained flood defences and a strong strategic vision from Defra and the Environment Agency.

Agricultural Tenancies

The CLA responded to the consultations undertaken by DEFRA and the Welsh Government on agricultural tenancy legislation reform.  Both Governments produced very similar consultations suggesting changes which could remove barriers to productivity improvements and facilitate structural change in the tenant farming sector.  Some suggestions were welcomed but others opposed.  In particular, the CLA made it clear that no steps should be taken to prolong the lifetime of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986.

Rural Broadband and digital only services

The CLA has formally responded to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee inquiry into broadband in rural areas and digital only services.  The CLA response recognises the change in government policy to full fibre by 2033 which it supports but also stresses the importance of narrowing the present rural-urban digital divide.  The CLA also makes clear that it will not support the mobile operators proposal for a Single Rural Network unless there are a series of legal guarantees that targets will be met and that the proposed timetable for 95% geographic coverage is shortened.

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