A politician who would like to see more food grown locally is welcoming new planning exemptions approved by the States to give greater leeway to developments on agricultural land.
Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller used her seat on the States' Development & Planning Authority to propose more exemptions from planning control on agricultural land. The Authority included them in recent proposals to expand planning exemptions and the States backed them by a large majority.
“When I became a politician last year, and joined the Development & Planning Authority, one of the first things I realised was that our current land planning policy in regards to agricultural land is actually not allowing for some types of agriculture,” said Deputy Kazantseva-Miller.
“For example, you couldn’t place small structures like sheds and animal shelters and greenhouses [on agricultural land] if you wanted to use them for propagation or animal husbandry and so on.
“Our current agricultural policy is the remnants of historic agriculture when you used big tractors and machinery - you would manage land with big machinery instead of sheds and shelters."
Deputy Kazantseva-Miller cites an increase in public appetite for small-scale growing as a reason for change.
“There has been a great number of people who have started keeping chickens and chicken coops and you need structures and fencing to support that and basically we had the crazy situation where you couldn’t actually do those things on agricultural land,” she said.
Pictured: “I had people approach me who wanted to put polytunnels who wanted to grow their own produce and again you couldn’t do that,” said Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller.
The changes to rules on agricultural land championed by Deputy Kazantseva-Miller were included in the Authority's policy letter entitled 'Review of the Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance 2007' and approved by the States at their latest meeting.
The changes include expanding the types of development allowed on agricultural land without planning permission and greater freedom on the use of domestic curtilage.
For example, it is now possible to build greenhouses, animal shelters and polytunnels up to a certain size without planning permission.
The changes are set out in full below.
Deputy Kazantseva-Miller said there was no need for "rules for planning permission for what could be considered quite minor developments or common sense development.
“I’m very pleased that the exemptions went through. I’m particularly pleased because it’s something I’ve been trying personally to promote within the Authority. They were very supportive of that approach. I really hope we see more local growing because of all the positive benefits it has.”
Deputy Kazantseva-Miller also hopes that more people will come forward to organise community growing initiatives.
“The Island Development Plan allows for community project schemes and that is something that I’d like to explore and push this political term,” she said.
Deputy Kazantseva-Miller would like to hear from anyone interested in organising or helping to promote community schemes such as "allotments, edible parks and forest kitchen gardens".
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