Threats to the rural economy

Millions of pounds spent challenging your rights

In the past 20 years there has been a massive increase in the amount of lobbying operating either at the heart of the political establishment, or on the fringes. Many organisations put large sums of money into lobbying Government and decision-makers.

Sometimes the goals and objectives of these organisations will be to the detriment of landowners’ interests. Groups can be highly organised, dominate the media and use very emotional language. The issues covered can vary from unrestricted access to hedge trimming, from genetically modified crops to field sizes and from animal welfare to introducing sea eagles.

Protecting your best interests

The CLA is the only organisation working to influence Government solely on behalf of owners of rural land, property and business. All landowners, from the smallest acreage to the largest estate, need to act together vigorously to defend our interests. Nobody is doing more than the CLA to manage the impact on the value of land – both in the short and long term.


Key threats to landowners in England and Wales

Compulsory Purchase – The threat of large and small scale public infrastructure projects deeply affects landowners’ interests. The CLA has argued for many years that the existing regulation is not fit for purpose, and many members faced with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) fear losing out.

Planning controls – Landowners know the difficulties they face when trying to diversify or expand a rural business; the planning system can represent quite a hurdle to overcome. The CLA is at the forefront in lobbying for reform that will facilitate rather than frustrate rural business.

Obstacles to farm restructuring – We can all see the likely public finance landscape which lies ahead. The CLA is developing work on how to help the marginal farming areas, the Uplands, adapt to survive. We are also looking closely at obstacles to farms restructuring and diversifying to adapt to changing conditions, and ways of encouraging innovation.

Wildlife and the natural environment – The UK failed to meet all its biodiversity targets for 2010. 2011 will, quite rightly, see huge pressures to turn things round. The CLA will be doing all it can to ensure that the rights of rural land managers are properly protected in all this and that the focus is on properly rewarding them for what they do, rather than on increasing the level of regulation.

Access – In less than a decade we have seen how a right of access to commons, mountains, moors, heaths and downs has been extended to a right of access to the English coastline. Already there are calls for the right to be extended for the benefit of other groups, such as horse riders and trail bikers, and to other land including woods and rivers. The CLA is the only organisation that can be consistently relied upon to defend the rights of all rural property owners against these threats.

Business rates – The number of organisations calling for the exemptions from local taxation enjoyed by agriculture to be abolished, is increasing. The CLA will continue to argue why it is in everyone’s interests that rates should be applied fairly and that existing exemptions are justified. 


Anyone who owns rural land will benefit from joining the CLA

We are effective at influencing decision-makers at EU, national and local levels. As a CLA member you can add your voice. Whatever the value of your rural land, business and property interests, the CLA subscription represents only a fraction of its true value and is your best insurance for the future.