24 May 1999
Former farm minister pleads for rural life

THERE is a real danger of the countryside turning into a theme park, warns Lord Prior, who served as agriculture minister from 1970-72, in a letter to The Times.

The state of British farming and the rural economy is such that the countryside could soon be “full of commuters and holidaymakers and pretty views, but with very few viable businesses left.”

Mr Prior, welcomes the governments proposed changes which would see job creation taken into account when farmers seek to convert barns and outbuildings for light industry.

But, he says, more account should be taken of the planning guidance able housing, in his current role as chairman of The Rural Housing Trust.

  • The Times 24/05/99 page 23 (Letters to the Editor)