Future of Farming Review Presentation to Rural Housing Advisory Group Presented by: Claire Bevan Date: 23rd January 2014
History and beginnings • Foresight Report/Green Food Project • Objective was to examine the opportunities available to and barriers faced by new entrants and young people, in the farming industry as a whole • Began in January 2013 – reported in July 2013 • Industry led, with individual experts from across the industry, chaired by David Fursdon
Overall conclusions • Umbrella theme of encouraging ‘progression’ within the industry so agriculture develops a reputation of ‘professionalism’ to attract and retain new entrants In order to achieve those goals: • Business and management skills are crucial at every stage • Address concern over lack of opportunities for new entrants and the low rate of retirement from the industry • Leadership from the industry is needed – bring together various initiatives • We need a clearer picture of where the industry is going and it’s future workforce needs, both skills and numbers
Housing – The issue from the review • The lack of affordable housing in rural areas inhibits progression through the industry • It prevents both new entrants/employees from moving to areas where there are vacancies, and some existing farmers from moving off their farm where they want to • The solutions from the Review encompass • Incentivising landowners to make more land available for development • Strengthening agricultural planning conditions • Improved guidance to county councils
Housing recommendations in full We have proposed various recommendations above that we believe could be taken forward by the HCA’s Rural Housing Advisory Group with the support of our group and the Government. These include: • (i) the provision of guidance to Local Authorities to give them reason to use the policies in the NPPF to recognise the importance of sustainable intensification of agriculture in planning applications, • (ii) wider adoption of ways of incentivising landowners to provide affordable housing including cross subsidy including on exception sites, use of long leases, provision of nomination rights and taxation changes and encourage wider use and dissemination of DCLG’s consultation on the subject, • (iii) exploring if ‘Affordable Housing for Racing Industry Employees’ can be transposed across to the farming industry and deliver the needed housing in the sector, • (iv) encouraging Local Authorities to better enforce agricultural planning conditions on dwellings perhaps by the creation of a register of properties subject to an agricultural tie, and • (v) further investigation of the Addington Fund business model of providing housing at affordable rents, to see if this can be rolled out nationally.
Evidence to Review on housing • Documents and reports • Guidance for local authorities on incentivising landowners to bring forward additional land for rural affordable housing on rural exception sites • National Policy Planning Framework guidance • Welsh Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN 6) • Rural Alliance Pledge • Spoke to or received evidence from 60 organisations including: • Addington Fund • Hastoe • Country Land & Business Association • Land Agents (Smiths Gore, Bidwells, Knight Frank, Savills) • Clinton Devon