Why is agricultural land, described in one planning application as 'a mixture of 80% Grade 2 (very good quality) and 20% Subgrade 3b (good quality)', being developed?
This photo shows Hall Road, Rochford, Essex - the subject of Hall Road Reserved Matters Planning Application - 13/00552/REM.
We need change before any more agricultural land is offered to/bought up by developers.
We must accept that Britain cannot rely on world food supplies because, as prices rise, Britain needs a stable, secure food supply, with short distance from field to plate.
Over the next 50 years, food and farming face the stark challenge of providing better nutrition for more people in spite of rapid environmental change, while cutting our diet’s impact on natural resources, ecosystems and the climate. This calls for changes in our eating habits, reductions in food waste and improvements in food production. We want to make sure organic and other agroecological approaches are at the heart of efforts to achieve this.
It used to be the case in England that the grade of agricultural land was a prime consideration for planners and local authorities in allocating sites for development.
But changes to planning policy in the late 1980’s downgraded the importance of agricultural land classifications in planning, in response to the more globalised market for food that had developed and this level of attention to quality of land was no longer needed.
The DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) report http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Document.aspx?Document=9905_SP1501finalreport.pdf demonstrates that before the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Local Planning Authorities didn’t have the tools they need to protect our best agricultural land from development – and the NPPF has done nothing to improve planning policy to address this.
Please refer to The Blue Finger Alliance for further information www.bluefingeralliance.org.uk www.bluefingerfood.wordpress.com