Sunday, 14 February 2016 20:38

Planning review to boost productivity

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Planning review to boost productivity

THE government has launched a planning review it hopes will boost productivity in the countryside.

The Rural Planning Review will look to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation.

Rural entrepreneurs and housebuilders are being asked to suggest how the planning system can better support rural life.

Government ministers then hope to make it simpler for them to expand their businesses and to build much needed new homes.

    See also: Defra unveils Rural Productivity Plan

The move comes as the government launches a planning review to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation.

It will also review rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use.

The government says this will build on the success of the 2014 changes which have seen more than 2,000 agricultural buildings being allowed to be converted to much-needed homes.

Published by Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government, the review is described as the "latest milestone" in the delivery of the government's Rural Productivity Plan.

The plan sets out new measures to boost the rural economy by investing in education and skills, improving infrastructure and connectivity, and simplifying planning laws for rural businesses and communities.

The government says it is already delivering on these objectives, designed to drive up productivity and ensure the countryside become a more attractive place for people to live, work, start a business and bring up a family.

Defra secretary Liz Truss said: "Our rural areas have huge potential which is why we're working to further unlock productivity to create a true One Nation economy.

"Our plan will help us create thriving towns and villages."

It would enable families to turn disused agricultural buildings into new homes and encourage entrepreneurs to launch cutting-edge start-ups from the countryside.

Planning was one of the priorities for rural action included in the government's response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing published in December.

It set out a series of measures to ensure government departments fully understand rural issues to better protect the services delivered for rural communities.

Defra and Cabinet Office have since agreed with Lord Cameron that the development of rural proofing guidance should be given priority.

The Rural Planning Review: Call for Evidence is available here.

Contributions are invited from businesses operating in rural areas, including farmers, local planning authorities and any other interested parties.

Stakeholders can also have their say on the non-planning regulatory barriers to innovation for rural business. This is due to close on Friday, 19 February, 2016.

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