NFU Attacks Threat To Traditional Rural Events
events like the village fête, farmers' markets and gymkhanas
could be a thing of the past if Government decides that they need
full planning permission, the NFU has warned.
NFU has attacked proposals in a DTLR consultation document to limit
or do away with temporary permission for infrequent local events
like shows or food fairs and outdoor pursuits like paint-balling
or clay pigeon shooting.
its response to the consultation, the NFU describes such rural events
- conditionally permitted without planning permission on 14 or 28
days a year - as a vital part of rural and urban life and an important
source of revenue for farmers.
submission says: "Many farmers have over decades provided venues
for village activities in this way. They have also come to rely
on events like farmers' markets for the survival of the farm business.
is a deep concern within the farming community about the social
and economic implications of any changes to the current arrangements
and the consequent harm to the rural economy at a time when recovery
and regeneration are vitally important."
NFU goes on to criticise the quality of the research used by the
DTLR, which it says is limited and based upon perception and anecdotal
evidence. The report did not include data from rural stakeholders
or sports and recreational groups and attracted only a limited response
from planning authorities.
Planning Chairman John Seymour said: "The current arrangements
strike an appropriate balance between the freedom to use land for
a strictly temporary period of time for events that have sometimes
taken place for many decades and without having caused any problems
in the vast majority of cases."
NFU submission - submitted yesterday - goes on to say that better
local enforcement would ensure existing controls were more effective,
while not creating additional workload for planning departments.
John Seymour added: "We are extremely concerned that community
events basically held on high days and holidays will be abandoned
if this planning obstacle is put in their way."