Allowing low impact development on agricultural land

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation. The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.

Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.

Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.

The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Why is this idea important?

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation. The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.

Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.

Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.

The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Allow low impact development on agricultural land

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation.
 The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.
 
Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.
Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.
The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Why is this idea important?

There are thousands of people in the UK who would like to farm there own land but cannot afford the half million £s needed for a farm with accommodation.
 The planning laws in this area are highly outdated and make it virtually impossible to build up new small farms from bare land.

The countryside is now only for big agribusiness and a playground for the rich, so there is very little new enterprise in small scale agriculture, which is badly needed.
 
Because of the low incomes involved it is impossible to start up a small agricultural business and pay rent/mortgage on a separate home.
Small, low impact and easily removable dwellings should be allowed while (and only WHILE) the land is being used for agriculture, either business or self sufficiency, which then often grows into small business by selling surplus, providing good local produce, and providing a fulfilling employment in the countryside, which surely is good for everyone.
The British countryside has got to let go if its NIMBY attitude, or it will end up a stale, gated community.

Abolish Anti-Post Office Rules

Rural Post Offices are becoming increasingly unviable and closing daily. This is partly because of restrictive Government rules about how they conduct their business. Abolish these rules.

In many villages a Post Office function is provided as part of a shop that employs just 1, 2 or 3 people. The Sub-Post Office is not a viable business propostion on it's own, but is a small section at the back. But Government rules say it must open exactly the same hours as a busy Post Office in town employing 10-20 full time staff. Increasingly the owners find they cannot put in 5 1/2 full days without employing extra staff that they just can't afford.

But their customers would easily adapt to different hours. The alternative is that the Post Office closes and they get no service. How is that better?

Also the tiny Sub-Post-Office has to provide a full range of services, many that are never used. Most people want to be able to post things, buy stamps, have a basic banking system, buy car tax and TV licences. Anything else is an optional extra.

Remove these restrictions, or accept that Sub-Post Offices are not run on commercial business lines and heavily subsidise them.

Why is this idea important?

Rural Post Offices are becoming increasingly unviable and closing daily. This is partly because of restrictive Government rules about how they conduct their business. Abolish these rules.

In many villages a Post Office function is provided as part of a shop that employs just 1, 2 or 3 people. The Sub-Post Office is not a viable business propostion on it's own, but is a small section at the back. But Government rules say it must open exactly the same hours as a busy Post Office in town employing 10-20 full time staff. Increasingly the owners find they cannot put in 5 1/2 full days without employing extra staff that they just can't afford.

But their customers would easily adapt to different hours. The alternative is that the Post Office closes and they get no service. How is that better?

Also the tiny Sub-Post-Office has to provide a full range of services, many that are never used. Most people want to be able to post things, buy stamps, have a basic banking system, buy car tax and TV licences. Anything else is an optional extra.

Remove these restrictions, or accept that Sub-Post Offices are not run on commercial business lines and heavily subsidise them.

Reconnect Town and Country and you begin to Rebuild Broken Britain

I'm amazed that so few have raised this issue so far…

My idea is to reclassify former railway alignments under a new land classification category, using the United States' "Rail Bank" system as our model, and implement a planning moratorium protecting these potentially vital future transport corridors from the kind of cheap, ill-thought out and economically stagnant housing and commercial retail-park/strip-mall type developments we have seen under both the Tory and Labour administrations of the last 30 years.

Empower and financially incentivise local communities and rail companies to allow them to bring back those lines that were closed as being uneconomic under the Beeching Axe but which would now clearly serve a vital social and economic purpose for all those communities through which they pass.

Rail reopening is subject to so many planning restrictions… whilst the purchase and development of railway land is so simple for large Corporate developers who have no interest in retaining the former alignments for future transport links to be restored.

This situation must be reversed. It must be HARD for such potentially vital transport corridors to be disposed of! It must be made EASIER for planning authorities to turn away developers, and they should be encouraged to do so, unless that developer includes the preservation of the alignment within their plans.

In nearly every instance, the power to re-open lines lies with central government and (yet another quango) the SRA. Again, this situation must be reversed. This must in many, if not most cases be a local decision, for the local community whom the reopened line would serve.

Finally, the Coalition should publicly recognise that schemes focused on prising motorists away from their vehicles cannot simply focus on the bicycle and cycle lanes as an alternative.

Young children cannot cycle 10 miles into school, OAP's and those with disabilities cannot cycle 10 miles into town and ordinary Mums and Dads can't do a day's shopping with the family and cycle 10 miles back home carrying 10 bags.

If you want us out of our cars, and if you feel that buses are slow and unpleasant and clog up the roads even more… then good quality, frequent and reliable suburban and rural light rail services are your answer.

Likewise, you cannot transfer the vast amounts of freight that travel by road, away from lorries and onto bicycles. If we want to see less freight travel by road, again, rail is the only real answer.

Why is this idea important?

I'm amazed that so few have raised this issue so far…

My idea is to reclassify former railway alignments under a new land classification category, using the United States' "Rail Bank" system as our model, and implement a planning moratorium protecting these potentially vital future transport corridors from the kind of cheap, ill-thought out and economically stagnant housing and commercial retail-park/strip-mall type developments we have seen under both the Tory and Labour administrations of the last 30 years.

Empower and financially incentivise local communities and rail companies to allow them to bring back those lines that were closed as being uneconomic under the Beeching Axe but which would now clearly serve a vital social and economic purpose for all those communities through which they pass.

Rail reopening is subject to so many planning restrictions… whilst the purchase and development of railway land is so simple for large Corporate developers who have no interest in retaining the former alignments for future transport links to be restored.

This situation must be reversed. It must be HARD for such potentially vital transport corridors to be disposed of! It must be made EASIER for planning authorities to turn away developers, and they should be encouraged to do so, unless that developer includes the preservation of the alignment within their plans.

In nearly every instance, the power to re-open lines lies with central government and (yet another quango) the SRA. Again, this situation must be reversed. This must in many, if not most cases be a local decision, for the local community whom the reopened line would serve.

Finally, the Coalition should publicly recognise that schemes focused on prising motorists away from their vehicles cannot simply focus on the bicycle and cycle lanes as an alternative.

Young children cannot cycle 10 miles into school, OAP's and those with disabilities cannot cycle 10 miles into town and ordinary Mums and Dads can't do a day's shopping with the family and cycle 10 miles back home carrying 10 bags.

If you want us out of our cars, and if you feel that buses are slow and unpleasant and clog up the roads even more… then good quality, frequent and reliable suburban and rural light rail services are your answer.

Likewise, you cannot transfer the vast amounts of freight that travel by road, away from lorries and onto bicycles. If we want to see less freight travel by road, again, rail is the only real answer.

UK-wide equality of broadband, telephone and TV

All areas of the UK, no matter whether rural, semi rural or town/city should have the same rates of broadband access and should be able to access the same commerical low-cost telephone and broadband packages (which requires their telephone exchange to be "de-bundled" or enabled in a special way).

Any government scheme to roll out faster broadband must give and require wholly equal treatment and timing to all areas of the UK.

All areas of the UK should be able to receive the full range of digital TV services via the Freeview system when required to switch over to digital. At present, many areas on "relay transmitters" will receive a significantly limited Freeview service indeed. The Government must ensure that the switchover does indeed, as advertised, enable all TV licence-payers to receive free of charge the full Freeview service, and switchover of remaining areas must not occur until this guarantee can be 100% applied.

Why is this idea important?

All areas of the UK, no matter whether rural, semi rural or town/city should have the same rates of broadband access and should be able to access the same commerical low-cost telephone and broadband packages (which requires their telephone exchange to be "de-bundled" or enabled in a special way).

Any government scheme to roll out faster broadband must give and require wholly equal treatment and timing to all areas of the UK.

All areas of the UK should be able to receive the full range of digital TV services via the Freeview system when required to switch over to digital. At present, many areas on "relay transmitters" will receive a significantly limited Freeview service indeed. The Government must ensure that the switchover does indeed, as advertised, enable all TV licence-payers to receive free of charge the full Freeview service, and switchover of remaining areas must not occur until this guarantee can be 100% applied.

Remove restrictions on village social events

The last Government  dramatically  restricted the number of events involving alcohol ( dances, parties, concerts, quizzes etc) that can be run in a village hall per year. This has affected the viability of halls which are a keystone of rural communities. It has also cut off funds to those village bodies relying on that income and also the social life of often isolated communities. IF the motive was to help village pubs it has had no benefit, because those attending events in the hall are not in the main pub "regulars". There was no public order motive as the average age of atttendees would generally render that out of the question. This was -as in so many cases- silly legislation imposed for something to do. Remove please!

Why is this idea important?

The last Government  dramatically  restricted the number of events involving alcohol ( dances, parties, concerts, quizzes etc) that can be run in a village hall per year. This has affected the viability of halls which are a keystone of rural communities. It has also cut off funds to those village bodies relying on that income and also the social life of often isolated communities. IF the motive was to help village pubs it has had no benefit, because those attending events in the hall are not in the main pub "regulars". There was no public order motive as the average age of atttendees would generally render that out of the question. This was -as in so many cases- silly legislation imposed for something to do. Remove please!

Please repeal the 2006 NERC act. This will restore vehicular rights to the network of green lanes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

For several decades vehicular rights applied to a network of green lanes across our country. These vehicular rights were used by farmers and other local users, but were enjoyed-lawfully- by other user groups such as trail riders(riders of legal, registered, taxed and insured motorcycles).

These lanes included byways, RUPPS(roads used a s public paths), ORPA's and UCR's.

Under pressure from an unholy alliance of large landowners and the Ramblers Association(vocals plus money), the Labour Govt capitulated and downgraded some of the aforementioned routes. For instance, it is no longer possible to lawfully traverse a RUPP using a motor vehicle, they became 'restricted byways'. This has left many thousands of  lawful trail riders with very limited access to the countryside. It has NOT stopped the untaxed and illegal hooligans that so vexed the complainants in the Ramblers Association.

Many of these old green lanes are now overgrown, used by no one. Or worse, are found suddenly incorporated into a landowners property. In remote areas there are few walkers anyway, and the pasttime precious to many people is severely restricted. This was vindictive piece of legislation,  promoted and funded by the 'holier than thou' Ramblers Association. It has had little or no impact, save the damage done to local pubs, shops, motorcycle shops and specialists used by the trail riders. For more info see the Trail Riders Fellowship website.

Worse still, most 'ramblers' are urban dwellers, often driving their vehicles into the countryside, where they spend a few hours rambling, no money in local businesses, and then they drive home. Whilst the lawful, predominantly rural dwelling trail riders sit fulminating at home, bike garaged or now sold, being lectured to by the Ramblers Association.

This should be reversed. Vehicular rights should be resored to pre- NERC routes. Illegal use of untaxed vehicles is a matter for the police anywhere, including in the countryside. This vindictive act has made matters worse for lawful trail riders, whilst the illegal users carry on with impunity. 

Why is this idea important?

For several decades vehicular rights applied to a network of green lanes across our country. These vehicular rights were used by farmers and other local users, but were enjoyed-lawfully- by other user groups such as trail riders(riders of legal, registered, taxed and insured motorcycles).

These lanes included byways, RUPPS(roads used a s public paths), ORPA's and UCR's.

Under pressure from an unholy alliance of large landowners and the Ramblers Association(vocals plus money), the Labour Govt capitulated and downgraded some of the aforementioned routes. For instance, it is no longer possible to lawfully traverse a RUPP using a motor vehicle, they became 'restricted byways'. This has left many thousands of  lawful trail riders with very limited access to the countryside. It has NOT stopped the untaxed and illegal hooligans that so vexed the complainants in the Ramblers Association.

Many of these old green lanes are now overgrown, used by no one. Or worse, are found suddenly incorporated into a landowners property. In remote areas there are few walkers anyway, and the pasttime precious to many people is severely restricted. This was vindictive piece of legislation,  promoted and funded by the 'holier than thou' Ramblers Association. It has had little or no impact, save the damage done to local pubs, shops, motorcycle shops and specialists used by the trail riders. For more info see the Trail Riders Fellowship website.

Worse still, most 'ramblers' are urban dwellers, often driving their vehicles into the countryside, where they spend a few hours rambling, no money in local businesses, and then they drive home. Whilst the lawful, predominantly rural dwelling trail riders sit fulminating at home, bike garaged or now sold, being lectured to by the Ramblers Association.

This should be reversed. Vehicular rights should be resored to pre- NERC routes. Illegal use of untaxed vehicles is a matter for the police anywhere, including in the countryside. This vindictive act has made matters worse for lawful trail riders, whilst the illegal users carry on with impunity.