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Country News - 2002

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Saved: village fêtes and farmers' market
Thursday 22 August

Organisers of rural events like village fêtes and farmers' markets can breath a sigh of relief today, thanks to a campaign against changes in the planning laws lead by the National Farmers' Union.

Under a promised shake up of the planning laws, it was feared that organisers of occasional events like fêtes, gymkhanas or food fairs would have to apply for planning permission - a lengthy and often expensive process.

Yesterday, however, Planning Minister Jeff Rooker issued a statement saying that there will be no change to the temporary use provision in current planning legislation because such events were of "significant value to rural communities and in particular to farmers".

NFU Planning Chairman John Seymour said the NFU had organised a stakeholders meeting over the issue in April at its headquarters and had co-ordinated a united voice against further planning controls.

He said: "We are extremely pleased that the case presented by the NFU has been acted on. The Department has recognised that these events have operated successfully for decades under the current system without problem and that they have a huge social and economic value to rural communities and farmers."

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