Bewildered farmers in Yorkshire seeking new business opportunities are baffled by complex planning policies and increasingly entangled in red tape, says the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) which is launching a new initiative to provide practical help.
The publication of an insider's guide to planning systems in the region is to be followed by a seminar on farm diversification and planning issues, offering instant advice from Yorkshire's leading professional experts.
"As more and more farmers are forced to consider some kind of alternative enterprise, often for the first time, so we are finding that they quickly become bogged down," said the CLA's regional adviser, Jane Harrison. "It isn't at all surprising when you consider that a wholly different set of rules apply, varying from area to area. We are aiming to provide affordable professional advice."
An independent professional planning advice service has been set up by the Yorkshire & Humber branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute, called Yorkshire Planning Aid.
Its members and the CLA will run a joint seminar in Wakefield next month (June 17) for farmers and landowners considering diversification schemes or who are looking to expand them. There will be a workshop session for on the spot advice at the event, which has also been part funded by Defra.
Further details of the seminar and copies of the guide to Yorkshire's planning systems Making the Most of your Farm are available from the CLA's regional office, tel. 01347 823803.