All posts by Mez Khan

INDUSTRY NEWS – Rural Connectivity Still Undervalued

By | rural business, rural economy, technology | No Comments

The CLA has recently analysed the way in which 50 local authorities use their settlement hierarchy when deciding the locations of new development allocations in a Local Plan.

Such hierarchies work by ranking villages, scoring them against a range of services and amenities, However the research conducted by the CLA has revealed that only 18% of local authorities even consider broadband connectivity when assessing the sustainability of these rural areas. Despite the day-to-day services that internet connectivity can facilitate, such as online shopping and general communication.

Tim Breitmeyer, the President of the CLA, stated “Updating rural planning policy to include connectivity in sustainability assessments means English villages will not be trapped in analogue when the rest of the world is in the digital age and can access much of the housing they desperately need.”
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INDUSTRY NEWS – Substantial Opportunities to Create New Isolated Homes in the Countryside

By | government-legislation, Housing, NPPF, planning | No Comments

The new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) includes a new clause in paragraph 79 which will provide substantial opportunities to create new isolated homes in the countryside.

The previously entitled paragraph 55 that allowed for new isolated homes in the countryside as well as provision of a dwelling of exceptional design and quality remains intact and is an area of rural planning that Rural Solutions has vast knowledge and experience.

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DESIGNER PROFILE – Get to know our new design team member, Sandy Fishpool.

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

Architect Sandy is the latest addition to the Design Team have joined us just this month. Her architectural career has been in both rural and urban practice in Cumbria and Yorkshire.

She has been very lucky to work on a broad variety of work, in particular Residential, Heritage, Education and Commercial projects.

Following a period working as an Associate Director for a firm in Cumbria, she set up her own practice in Skipton and has been running a private practice until her recent move to Rural Solutions.

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PLANNING NEWS – Arcade Club Planning Consent Secured

By | planning, technology | No Comments

We are delighted to have secured planning consent for an exciting, alternative leisure development in Kirkstall, Leeds.

The application sought a change of use of a Grade II listed building from an A1 retail use to a “sui generis” leisure/entertainment use as a non-gambling arcade club. The development met with unanimous support during the course of the application with a number of local residents writing to Leeds City Council in support of the venture. Read More

INDUSTRY COMMENT – Over 2,000 English villages abandoned for affordable housing

By | advisory, Housing, Industry Comment, local planning authority, rural-affairs, rural-housing | No Comments

According to new research by the CLA, of 70 Local Plans from rural local authorities, 2,154 villages across England have been deemed unsustainable. This means that housing allocation, which includes the delivery of affordable homes, within these rural communities is either highly restricted or not permitted at all; further intensifying the rural housing crisis.

Topping the list was Cornwall with 213 areas deemed unsustainable, followed by Wiltshire (168) and Central Lincolnshire (132).

Speaking on the matter James Del Mar, Executive Director for Rural Solutions, states: “The rural economy needs to be healthy to ensure the whole UK economy is achieving its full potential. However, with a planning policy which results in the restriction of so many rural houses being built, it is difficult. People who want to live and work in rural areas cannot for want of housing. Read More

INDUSTRY NEWS – Changes to the Standard Method for Assessing Local Housing Need

By | advisory, consultancy, general, land owners, local planning authority, planning, Uncategorised | No Comments

The publication of new household projections by the Office for National Statistics has led to a significant reduction in the overall numbers generated by the standard method for assessing local housing need.

As a result, the government has published a technical consultation document setting out proposals to update Planning Practice Guidance to be consistent with its stated aims of ‘significantly boosting’ housing supply and achieving a national target of 300,000 new homes per annum.

The consultation also proposes clarifications of national planning policy on; housing land supply; the definition of ‘deliverable’, and when the presumption can be applied in relation to appropriate assessment.

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BE INSPIRED: Beyond the Traditional Farm Shop

By | advisory, architecture, Be Inspired, consultancy, ecology, Farm Shops, general, land owners, rural business, rural diversification, Uncategorised | No Comments

two hands exchanging fruit at a farm shop farmers market with title of blog beyong the traditional farm shopThe Farm Shop is by no means a new concept, it’s been a great way for farmers to drive revenue for many years.

However, with the growing farm-to-table movement and the increased demand for food providence, farm shops have increasingly become a successful form of diversification for farmers nationwide. With an estimated 4,000 farm shops in the UK and a combined annual turnover of approximately £1.5bn, it is now a very significant market.

However, while offering your produce for sale is popular, unless you have plenty of passing traffic it is necessary to think more imaginatively to sustain the operation and drive the customer numbers. It’s important to make visiting your farm as enticing as possible, thinking about providing additional experiences and activities, based on your location and available resources.

Here are some of the most popular farm shop experiences across the UK, who stand as strong examples of what can be done to enhance the experience and offer, and ways in which you can expand further as an aspiring rural entrepreneur:

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INDUSTRY NEWS – Government Releases New Environmental Planning Instruments

By | advisory, Brexit, consultancy, general, government-legislation, local planning authority, planning, residential | No Comments

On 24th October the government published statutory instruments regarding environmental assessments and related planning procedures.

While not intended to make substantial changes to current policy, they are aimed at ensuring continued operation of the existing planning system with little to no interruption when the UK leaves the European Union (EU) on 29th March 2019.

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Industry Update: The Aylesbury Vale Plan Has Been Deemed Unsound

By | local planning authority, planning, rural economy, rural estates, Uncategorised | No Comments

A panoramic view of Aylesbury ValeA recent planning examination of the Aylesbury Vale local plan has concluding in a warning that “further work” is necessary in order for the document to gain approval. The inspector has recommended that the housing target should increase by approximately 15 per cent.

An initial version of the plan was also rejected in 2014, despite the council having received support from the Government. Following the recent rejection, the planning inspector in question now urges the council to work collaboratively will him in order to perfect the next version.


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