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Wales Must Follow England’s Example and Look to Turn Redundant Barns into Homes, Says CLA Cymru

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“Redundant farm buildings in Wales should have the ability to be converted into new homes to help tackle Wales’ housing crisis, and to help farmers bridge their industry’s widening income gap,” says Victoria Bond-Rees, Director, CLA Cymru.

The call comes as the Prime Minister announced his raft of measures supporting farming in England today, which includes improvement to guidelines for planning consent to permit development of obsolete agricultural buildings in England.

The announcement includes extension of Permitted Development Rights in England. This enables landowners to make temporary developments from 28 to 56 days. “This represents the real difference between a one-month pop-up enterprise, and a seasonal business which justifies the capital investment to generate revenue over a meaningful period of time. Critically, the businesses created not only well-serve the local community, but contribute to services available to the tourism industry – including urgently needed car-parking and rest-stop facilities in holiday hot-spots.”

Victoria says,

“At a time when Welsh farming faces so much uncertainty, the Welsh Government must provide opportunities for farmers to diversify, find new sources of revenue and long-term security. The planning system needs to become the enabler for responsible development and must stop being the barrier for evolving communities to be fit for the future.”

“The Welsh Government must be alert to the risk that inward investors will be attracted to the change in England, driving the investment our rural economy urgently needs – over the border. Equally, rural property-owners in Wales expect the government to do everything possible to ensure Welsh farms and businesses are competitive.”

Business News Wales