15 July 1998
Rural development ‘lets down’ country people

RURAL development is failing to meet country dwellers needs, according a report published today.

Change for the Better, drawn up by Aberdeen Universitys Arkleton Centre for Rural Development on behalf of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, acknowledged that, in general terms, the economy of rural England was doing well.

But it says many changes have been “unsustainable” as the growth of housing, roads and traffic have changed the character and environment in ways which diminish rural Englands long-term competitive strengths.

It calls for “visions” for country areas to be devised and ways of sustaining development to be drawn up.

The report comes as the government is creating regional development agencies, merging the Rural Development Commission with the Countryside Commission.

It is also considering whether to convert the agriculture ministry into a rural affairs department. The report costs £50 and is available by calling 0171 976 6433.

  • Financial Times 15/07/98 page 15
  • The Times 15/07/98 page 13