Rural planning review looks to boost productivity

A new Rural Planning Review has been commissioned to explore measures to reduce regulatory burdens to support productivity in rural areas, including the support of new homes, jobs and innovation.

The move will give rural entrepreneurs and house builders in England the opportunity to put forward ideas on how the planning system can better support rural life, easing the expansion of businesses and increasing the number of houses built.

Commenting on the Review, Greg Clark, the Communities Secretary, said: “This government is building the much needed new homes that we need to help hard working families own their own home. The need for new homes doesn’t stop where our cities end, it’s just as real in rural towns and villages that need new housebuilding to keep thriving. That’s why we are looking carefully at how our planning reforms can deliver this whilst at the same time ensuring local people have more control over planning and the Green Belt continues to be protected.”

The Review is part of the government’s Rural Productivity Plan, launched last summer by Chancellor George Osborne and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

The Plan sets out initiatives to boost rural economy through investing in eduction and skills, improving infrastructure and connectivity and simplifying planning laws for rural businesses and communities.

Commenting on the progress made under the Rural Productivity Plan, 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, where families can turn disused agricultural buildings into new homes for the next generation and entrepreneurs can launch the latest cutting-edge start-up from an office with a stunning countryside view. I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made so far which will support rural businesses and improve connectivity, making it as easy to run a business in Shropshire as it is in Shoreditch.”