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Red Tape Threat To Traditional Rural Events Removed - NFU

The organisers of rural events like village fêtes and farmers' markets are breathing a sigh of relief today, thanks to the NFU.

It had been feared that the Government would in future insist that organisers of occasional events like gymkhanas or food fairs would have to get planning permission following a consultation on the issue by the DTLR*.

Today, however, the Deputy Prime Minster's Office issued a statement saying that there will be NO change to the temporary use provision in current planning legislation.

In it, Planning Minister Jeff Rooker said that the ability to hold infrequent recreational and fund-raising events was of "significant value to rural communities and in particular to farmers".

NFU Planning Chairman John Seymour said the NFU had organised a stakeholders** meeting over the issue in April at its headquarters in response to the proposals and had co-ordinated a united voice against further planning controls.

He said: "We are extremely pleased that the case presented by the NFU has been acted on.

"The Department has recognised that these events have operated successfully for decades under the current system without problem and that they have a huge social and economic value to rural communities and farmers."

The statement from Mr Rooker said that a change to the planning provision would ultimately place a burden on rural business and run counter to the Government's wish to promote farm diversification.

John Seymour added: "This decision recognises that on-farm activities and events have become a vital component of today's successful farm business and rural economy.

"We are also delighted that the organisers of village events like fêtes and farmers' markets will not face the further burden of planning red tape. All too often these events rely on a handful of dedicated volunteers and a shoestring budget that simply would not have stretched to this."


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