Complacency over rural heritage

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The Independent Online
valuable agricultural land from irreversible development, it was claimed yesterday. The Council for the Protection of Rural England said the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food had, between 1988 and 1995, failed to object to planning applications involving development on farmland over 10 times the size of Bristol.

And over the same period, Maff objected to applications for development on less than 25 per cent of the highest grade agricultural land and less than 20 per cent of land involving the top three grades.

"The figures reveal Maff's continuing complacency towards protecting even our best farmland," said the CPRE rural affairs officer, Gregor Hutcheon. Maff's relaxed attitude risked squandering a vital and precious finite resource, he added.