Councillors, surveyors, land agents and planners – as well as farmers – are being urged to take part in an NFU survey to give their views on the planning application process in England.
The NFU is gathering evidence from wider industry in a bid to inform its future lobbying work. Respondents will have their feedback included as part of both the Government’s Rural Planning Review, and Housing White Paper.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said it was essential those involved in planning issues impacting on farming businesses took part in the survey so the NFU could engage with Government on possible future changes to planning rules and regulations.
“From farm shops to polytunnels, and farm reservoirs to changing use of agricultural buildings, planning regulations continue to be major headache to our members, adding unnecessary burden and costs which can be barrier to business growth,” he added.
“We also need to have a consistent planning system, and for those who have the final say on any applications to be given thorough training so they are better informed of their rights and responsibilities.
“Ultimately, the planning system should enable businesses to be viable and vibrant, ready to pass on to future generations.
“Fundamentally, we need to produce more food for our growing population and reduce our reliance on imports. This needs to be achieved both profitably and sustainably. The town planning system should contribute to this need by helping to create conditions for a strong sustainable farming and rural economy.”
The NFU also believes that this information will also help provide evidence to the Law Commission as it seeks to change town planning rules in Wales.