Unleashing Rural Opportunities

The policy paper ‘Unleashing Rural Opportunities’ was published by the UK Gov on the 6th June 2023 which provides new information on how the Government plans to drive and support the growth and success of rural areas.

The Government’s current actions and future plans to unleash rural opportunity by

  • Investing in the rural economy and removing barriers to enterprise
  • Building connections through improved digital connectivity and transport options
  • Delivering affordable housing and sustainable energy
  • Supporting thriving rural communities

In terms of the planning system, the paper shows the Governments support for:

Rural Diversification:

There is to be a planned consultation on

‘‘possible changes to permitted development rights which support agricultural development and rural diversification’ allowing a greater amount of flexibility for farmers so they can ‘amend their existing agricultural buildings without having to go through onerous planning processes”

This is something Jeremy Clarkson will be happy with after a number of refusals from West Oxfordshire District Council for a lambing barn to be converted into a restaurant on his Diddly Squat Farm.

This potential lifting of the planning ‘red tape’ will allow for ideas to be quickly implemented and diversify businesses to grow the rural economy.

Rural Housing Supply:

To help increase the rural housing supply, the Government have proposed plans for ‘Rural Housing Enablers’. This will be a network that will work across England to identify sites, work with site owners and with local communities to support development that is in keeping with the local area.

These proposed changes to the planning system in rural areas gives opportunity for economic development and diversification to the rural economy.

More information can be found on the Government website; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unleashing-rural-opportunity/unleashing-rural-opportunity

Graham + Sibbald’s UK Planning team take a pro-active approach and have a highly successful track record of securing planning permission. Contact our team via Planning@g-s.co.uk or visit our website to view our full service offering at https://www.g-s.co.uk/services/planning/.



07407 801 925

40 Torphichen Street

Get in touch with Thomas Luke