Farm Diversification

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st December 2000.

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Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Secretary (Fisheries and the Countryside), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 12:00 am, 21st December 2000

I can certainly give my hon. Friend that assurance. He makes an important point about the pressure on greenbelt and greenfield land, but many farm buildings and sites lend themselves to a variety of conversions for various businesses and for diversification. We want to help farmers to do that—and, of course, we are not talking about cutting through the planning law. Issues such as vehicular access, noise and smells will all be taken into account by local planning authorities, but we want to make it clear that just because a building is a farm or part of a farm development, it does not mean that it cannot be developed into all sorts of different businesses that are good for farmers and the rural economy.