Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Mr Gummer looked to local planning authorities today to improve the countryside through their plans and planning de...
Mr Gummer looked to local planning authorities today to improve the countryside through their plans and planning decisions.

Speaking at the Council for the Protection of Rural England at their Council Meeting in London today, Mr Gummer said:

'Conservation alone is not enough. New jobs and wealth are needed in rural areas just as much as in towns. I want local planning authorities in rural areas to give the need to diversify the rural economy as much priority in their thinking as protecting the countryside, for the two go hand-in- hand.

'My Ministers and I will be touring England in the coming months to bring this message home, warming planners and planning committees to new enthusiasm for job creation and wealth creation in the countryside.'

'Planning authorities should take a constructive approach. They should not reject proposals unless there are specific and convincing planning reasons, which cannot be overcome by attaching reasonable conditions. They should include positive policies for alternative uses in their development plans. The primary concern should be whether the new use is acceptable in planning terms.

'On local designations. Mr Gummer said: 'One problem that users of the planning system can come across is the proliferation of local designations in development plans. Local planning authorities should be cautious about introducing their own protective designations, such as Areas of Great Landscape Value. Otherwise there is a danger of placing unnecessary barriers in the way of economic activity, in the shape of diversifying the rural economy.

'Our guidance does recognise that there may be some areas which, while they do not justify a national designation such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are worthy of some degree of special protection because of their local importance.

'Authorities only should apply local designation where there is good reason to believe that the normal planning policies cannot be applied to provide the necessary protection. Superfluous designations may deter necessary economic activity and stifle useful change.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.