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Better planning support for rural areas.

RURAL areas without access to public transport are set to receive more favourable treatment from planning authorities.

Previous planning guidelines labelled developments that did not have links to public transport as unsustainable but following lobbying, rural areas are set to be given equal status to those that have bus and rail connections.

Recommendations made in the Taylor Review into how land use and planning can better support rural business and deliver affordable housing are now to be included in the Government's Planning for S ustainable Economic Growth policy.

NFU deputy president, Meurig Raymond, said: "Vigorous lobbying by the NFU appears to have had the desired affect with the final document reflecting more accurately the realities of rural life and the importance of supporting rural areas through a fair and balanced planning policy.

We engaged with the consultation on behalf of our members and are hopeful that farmers and growers will receive a more positive response from local authorities when they apply for permission for new agricultural buildings or propose farm diversification projects."

He said the NFU would continue putting pressure on the Government to ensure there was greater recognition of the importance of farming to the rural economy.

The Country Landowners Association has also campaigned to influence the PPS4, a planning statement which was first recommended by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee member Kate Barker's Review of the Planning System almost four years ago.

The CLA's regional surveyor north, Helen Lancaster, said: "I am delighted that so many of our proposals have been accepted and incorporated in this important document. For rural areas this is a huge step forward and will hopefully lead to a planning system that takes the needs of rural businesses seriously from now on.

"Our members will welcome these improvements, and it will help make my planning advisory role far more positive, and satisfying. I would like to acknowledge all the hard work over the years by our planning experts, led by our senior planning adviser Fenella Collins."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 8, 2010
Words:339
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