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There will be no change to the temporary uses planning provisions Jeff Rooker, planning minister, has announced. Ev...
There will be no change to the temporary uses planning provisions Jeff Rooker, planning minister, has announced. Events such as clay pigeon shooting, motorsports, car boot sales and farmers markets' will continue to be free from planning red tape.

The provisions for temporary uses are intended to be a deregulatory mechanism that is beneficial to the community. They provide for infrequent recreational and fund-raising events to be held by such bodies as community groups and charitable organisations, as well as individual farmers.

Jeff Rooker said:

'It is vital that we ensure a positive planning system that is faster, fairer and more predictable, supporting local businesses and communities. Given that some problems had been identified, it was necessary to review the position of the temporary uses provision in today's planning system.

'Following consultation with those effected by the temporary uses provision, I am satisfied that the regulations as they stand remain consistent with our aims to provide a workable planning system. I will not burden users of this provision with unnecessary planning red tape'

The current regulations have particular importance to the rural economy. Jeff Rooker commented that:

'The temporary uses provisions are clearly of significant value to rural communities and in particular to farmers. They allow for both economic activity and leisure pursuits to take place without undue constraint. A change to these provisions would ultimately place a burden on rural businesses and run counter to our desire to see greater farm diversification.'

The consultation paper put forward six options for change to the temporary uses provisions ranging from retaining the current temporary uses provisions to removing all permitted development rights. The overwhelming consensus in response to the consultation paper was to retain the existing provisions because:

The evidence of a widespread problem in relation to temporary uses is generally very limited.

There are existing controls that can deal with problems in relation to specific cases.

The temporary uses provisions are of significant value to rural communities and in particular to farmers. Any changes would run counter to government's commitments to farm diversification.

Imposing greater restrictions would be a significant burden on business, organisations, local planning authorities and members of the public.


1. Part 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 permits the temporary use of any land for any purpose for not more than 28 days in total in any calendar year (although some purposes are restricted to no more than 14 days in total) and the provision on the land of any moveable structure for the purposes of that use, unless:

-- the land in question is a building or is within the curtilage of a building

-- the use of the land is for a caravan site

-- the land is, or is within, a site of special scientific interest and the useof the land is for:

- motor sports

- clay pigeon shooting or

- any war game, or

- the use of the land is for the display of an advertisement.

The following temporary uses are restricted to no more than 14 days:

-- the holding of a market, or motor car and motorcycle racing including trials of speed.

2. Use of land in excess of the specified days would require an application for planing permission.

3. In February 2000, the department commissioned research to look at the impact of the Use Classes Order and temporary use provisions on the delivery of planning policy objectives. The research contract was let to Baker Associates. As part of their investigations, the researchers discussed with the Local Government Association and other groups the issues and concerns that they had raised. The research report was published on 12 September 2001.

4. On 24 January 2002 a consultation paper on possible options for change to the current Use Classes Order and temporary use provisions was issued. The closing date for responses was 24 April 2002.

5. In relation to the temporary use aspects of the consultation paper 2,400 responses were received. In addition 21 petitions were received with a total of 5,995 signatures.

6. Certain types of temporary use activities, such as car boot sales do generate some amenity issues, such as noise disturbance and traffic and parking problems. However, amendment of the provisions would be a disproportionate response to the issues.

7. Local authorities have a clear duty under Section 79 of Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) to inspect their area from time to time to detect any statutory nuisance and also to take reasonable steps to investigate a complaint received from a person living in their area.

8. Traffic authorities have powers under Section1 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to put into place Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs). TROs are used by local traffic authorities (LTA) to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic.

9. Local planning authorities can already remove specific permitted development rights by means of an Article 4 Direction, subject to approval by the Secretary of State.

10. A further announcement on how we intend to proceed with the Use Classes Order aspects of the consultation paper will be made as soon as practicable.

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