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11/02/2016

Consultation launched for Rural Planning Review in England

Words: Laura Edgar
Rural village / Shutterstock_164266613

Ministers are soliciting evidence to be submitted for the government’s Rural Planning Review.

The call for evidence aims to give rural entrepreneurs and house builders in England the opportunity to suggest ideas on how the planning system can better support rural life, says the government.

The review would also consider the rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use as well as increasing housing availability while “protecting the green belt and countryside”.

The review was announced in December 2015 and is part of the government Rural Productivity Plan, launched last August. It sets out measures the government believes will boost rural economy by investing in infrastructure, improving rural transport connections, and simplifying planning laws for rural businesses and communities.

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said the Rural Productivity Plan would help create “thriving towns and villages, where families can turn disused agricultural buildings into new homes for the next generation and entrepreneurs can launch the latest cutting-edge start-up from an office with a stunning countryside view”.

Speaking about the review’s call for evidence, communities secretary Greg Clark, said: “The need for new homes doesn’t stop where our cities end; it’s just as real in rural towns and villages that need new house building to keep thriving.

“That’s why we are looking carefully at how our planning reforms can deliver this whilst at the same time ensuring local people have more control over planning and the green belt continues to be protected.”

The consultation document can be found here.

Image credit | Shuttershock

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