Letter: Farm buildings: Palladian pigsties, Baroque barns and metal prefabs

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The Independent Online
Sir: Roger Hawkins calls for new farm buildings to respect the landscape. The Government has taken action to help achieve this objective. Since January 1992, local authorities have had powers to control the siting, design and appearance of those farm buildings that do not need a planning application. We have commissioned research to assess the effectiveness of this new system. The Planning Policy Guidance note on The Countryside and the Rural Economy, which we published at the same time, advises on the need for new development in rural areas to be sensitively designed and located.

Our overall policy is to nurture a healthy rural economy and maintain and enhance the environment. We have promoted this message at a successful national conference and a series of regional seminars bringing together planners, farmers and others with an interest in rural development. We have also published a popular Farmer's Guide to the Planning System, advising farmers on the need to take full account of environmental considerations in drawing up proposals. (The guide is available free from DOE, PO Box 135, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD9 4HU.)

Yours faithfully,

TONY BALDRY

Under-Secretary of State

Department of the Environment

London, SW1

10 March

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