Fwd: Urban & Rural Development Economies - No Difference?

Simon Fairlie chapter7 at tlio.org.uk
Fri Sep 11 22:17:30 BST 2009

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jeffrey Gale <jeffrey at worldpeacegardensnet.org>
> Date: 10 September 2009 23:29:49 BDT
> Subject: Urban & Rural Development Economies - No Difference?
> (please forward the text below and attached, to the appropriate  
> persons - thanks)
> Urban & Rural Development Economies - No Difference?
> The recently launched Government document PPS4* has a radically  
> different approach to its predecessor PPS7. The latter gave great  
> emphasis to sustainability. Its title "Planning for Sustainable  
> Economics" suggests this, but PPS4 emphasises planning for  
> prosperous economies, indicating the English Government's efforts  
> to revive our economy in global recession.
> Sustainability is very much sidelined in this new document. The  
> Government Planning policymakers have taken the view that there's  
> no difference between urban and rural economics, since both are  
> based on profitability and it's OK to encourage all kids of new  
> commercial businesses to establish in rural areas under a general  
> title of "diversification". So out of town supermarkets, offices,  
> new power stations, roads and petrol stations are encouraged, while  
> smallholdings with intense biodiverse food productivity linked to  
> very affordable self-built homes are not!
> When is the English Government going to realise that our Land is  
> ultimately our most precious asset, and that it will need  
> biodiverse organic care to sustain us long-term, not chemicalised  
> large-scale industrialised farming? Our land also needs more  
> younger people to look after it, and rural planning policies must  
> surely follow the Welsh Government sensible policy (see Technical  
> Advice Note 2009 TAN**) that favours small-scale low-impact  
> agricultural community smallholdings even in areas of natural beauty.
> Ironically this long-term sustainability policy was highlighted in  
> PPS7, so the Welsh Government has voted in favour of retaining  
> rural sustainability policies, while the English Government has  
> changed to profitability as the main issue.
> While random commercial or industrial development in open  
> countryside needs to be prevented, there is a great need for  
> affordable, well-designed eco-housing in or near villages and  
> hamlets, to enable younger people to live and work on the land.  
> There seems little encouragement in PPS4 for this, especially when  
> it comes to genuine low-impact eco-community housing planned around  
> food-productive Permaculture gardens without roads (cars being kept  
> strictly in corner carparks). Permaculture involves lots of fruit  
> and nut trees, so my view is this kind of development would enhance  
> the countryside and give it a new life.
> Large-scale industrialised farming with its huge ugly rearing sheds  
> and crop sprays is very dependent on diminishing oil supplies, and  
> degrades natural biodiverse ecologies as well as the beauty we all  
> love so much. When are Government policy makers going to realise  
> that long-term productivity of our land must not continue to rely  
> on short-term profit-industrialised farming, but more towards the  
> self-built eco-communities described above?
> The Government Planning Policy makers might well be advised to take  
> an evening or one-day course introducing the basic principles of  
> Permacultural design. The recent article by Pugalis and Martin in  
> TCPA Journal*** relates how PPS7(EC9) rural areas planning guidance  
> fails to recognise the real economic potential of rural people and  
> how the urbanised policy makers reduce rural economies to  
> 'shopping', 'the countryside' and 'tourism', activities they are no  
> doubt familiar with!
> Contrast these guidances with those recently published in the Welsh  
> Assembly's Technical Advice Note (TAN6**), under Sustainable  
> Agriculture it advises allowing developments within settlements or  
> in open countryside that have a low ecological footprint and are  
> ecologically diverse and sustaining. This advice coupled with very  
> low impact eco-houses for agricultural workers (rather than second- 
> homers and retirement) seems designed to positively encourage young  
> people to start their own businesses in smalholding agris or  
> horticulture, crafts, forestry or as village shops / post offices  
> where needed, and farm tools and equipment outlets.****
> Readers who support this TAN6 can write to the Welsh Assembly  
> Office via http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/planning/drafttan6  
> before 16 October. Why not send your same email to  
> office at communities.gov.uk (see also http://communities.gov.uk/ 
> consultations/planningandbuilding/consultationeconomicpps.
> Refs.
> * Consultation Paper on PPS4: DCLG May 2009 -  
> www.communities.gov.uk/publications.
> ** See above website for TAN6.
> *** TCPA Journal July 2009.
> **** See "The Land" Journal Summer 2009 p52.

> Jeffrey Gale
> jeffrey at worldpeacegardensnet.org
> 01803 868744

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