PLANNING regulations in the countryside were designed to protect food supplies. Now they are outdated and in need of urgent reform, according to Henry Graham, agricultural services manager with Clydesdale bank.
"It is crucial for the long-term strength of Scotlands rural economy that we begin to make better and broader use of resources by increasing the spread of land-based wealth creating activities," he told a meeting of countryside organisations Rural Forum in Aberdeen.
"The starting point for this process must be a more relaxed approach to rural planning restrictions so that land resources can be used to generate new sources of income and new employment," said Mr Graham.
Rural Forum represents most countryside organisations in Scotland with the exception of the Scottish NFU, which withdrew earlier this year.