LANDOWNERS HAVE warned that the Welsh Assembly must not leave farmers drowning in red tape post CAP-reform.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show on Monday (Jul 19), CLA president Mark Hudson said farmers had to reorganise their businesses so they were producing for the market and were not reliant on their single farm payment.

But he added: “Their future profit depends on a minimum of regulation and control from the Welsh Assembly. These businesses need reassurance and stimulation not decree and supervision.”

Mr Hudson said rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones must resist gold-plating cross-compliance regulations when he announces them later in the year.

Although not specifically mentioned in the Welsh consultation, the CLA is worried that 2m uncultivated strips and maintenance of rights of way might be included as measures.

“They are not in at the moment, but there are a number of environmental bodies pressing for it to happen,” he warned.

The assembly should be taking a lead in promoting prosperity in the countryside, said Mr Hudson, citing planning as one of the factors constraining business in the countryside.

“We‘ve got to persuade planning authorities to be more flexible in particular with rural housing.

“In National Parks in particular there is a great unwillingness to increase housing stock. But communities need a good cross-section of housing.”