Plans to restrict car boot sales are scrapped

Plans to restrict car boot sales and farmers' markets have been abandoned by the Government because of overwhelming public opposition.

Lord Rooker, the planning minister, announced yesterday there would be no change to temporary planning uses covering the events, which attract hundreds of thousands of Britons every weekend.

Clay pigeon shooting, war games and small-scale motorsports gatherings have also been reprieved from proposals to force their organisers to apply for full planning permission. Ministers ordered research into a possible crackdown two years ago after concerns were raised about the noise and traffic generated by car boot sales and farmers' markets in particular.

At present, temporary activities are allowed to operate up to 28 days a year on any piece of suitable land without planning permission. Markets and motor racing are restricted to a maximum of 14 days in any 12 months.

Among the options set out in a government consultation paper published in January was the removal of all permitted development rights or a new uniform limit of seven days a year for markets, shooting and motor racing.

But the plans provoked an outcry from farmers as well as schools and charities, many of whom rely on car boot sales to raise funds or supplement their income.

Shooting organisations have told the Government that the proposals to remove the rights for a farmer to hold charity clay shoots would badly harm the sport, which is practised by 686,000 shotgun certificate holders.