Calon Cymru Network Calls for Planning Policies to Permit Rural Repopulation
Response to Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan consultation urges easier permission for food production ventures requiring more people to live and work in the countryside.
The planning framework should have a more proactive role in fostering ecologically sound agriculture and horticulture, to improve resilience in unstable, difficult times, argues Calon Cymru Network, responding to Carmarthenshire County Council’s consultation on the 2018-2033 Local Development Plan (LDP).
Calon Cymru warns that “There is a probability that shocks to social, economic and environmental systems will be severe and unexpected. Carmarthenshire, and Wales, will require a higher level of self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs, and those foods will need to come from the currently under-used countryside.
“It follows that the outputs of Welsh farming need to change significantly, towards a more balanced agricultural system. This requires a significant increase in production of both horticultural crops and arable growing for human consumption.
“Considering fruit and vegetables, just 0.08% of Wales’ farmland grows horticultural crops and production is only 3% of the population’s requirement for five portions a day.”
More horticulture calls for additional people living in the countryside, because fruit and vegetable production requires a larger labour force than the beef and sheep farming which dominates over much of Wales.
But Calon Cymru notes that current planning policy is a deterrent to starting and developing new businesses in the countryside.
The Sustainability Assessment accompanying the LDP recognizes that “Carmarthenshire is currently exceeding sustainability levels with regards to food and drink, energy, capital investment (transport/ buildings) and consumables”. Calon Cymru Network is working to help reverse this trend by participating in efforts to move Wales towards a sustainable future.
for directors Mark Waghorn, Ken Pearce, Chris Tanner and Pat Racher and the members of Calon Cymru Network.
The Calon Cymru Network works for a vibrant and sustainable rural economy
Mae Rhwydwaith Calon Cymru yn gweithio i economi wledig fywiog a chynaliadw