Alliance South Down representative Councillor Patrick Clarke has warmly welcomed the easing of new planning rules for farmers announced by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood.
Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “I very much welcome that Ffarmers from August 2013 will now be able to undertake new build or extend agricultural buildings including sheds for hay and straw, storage and maintenance of agricultural machinery and plant, milking parlours, slurry storage tanks and chicken and other livestock sheds without having to go through the planning application process.
“This effectively means farmers can construct buildings up to 500 square metres without the need for a planning application. Under current planning rules farmers can only erect up to 300 square metres without the need for a planning application.
“This announcement on the easing of planning rules for farmers will effectively cut out a lot of the red tape and bureaucracy which will help farmers to try and expand their agriculture business which has not been easy for many over recent times. Farmers can now improve, modernise and grow their farm businesses within reason.
“The new easing of planning rules will also provide for the installation of structures of up to 500 square metres to house anaerobic digestion plant on agricultural units which will help farmers invest in renewable technologies such as anaerobic digesters which can help to make savings and reduce running costs in the longer term,” added Councillor patrick Clarke.