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Welsh Assembly adopt their own 'home on the farm'

July 20, 2009 12:00 AM

South Lakeland's trail-blazing 'Home on the Farm' scheme - the brainchild of local MP Tim Farron - has been adopted by the Welsh Assembly. Wales looks set to adopt their own "Home on the farm" scheme and this move has been welcomed by Tim Farron MP, who believes that this will increase pressure on the British government to give greater support for the scheme and thus help save struggling rural communities in Cumbria.

Under a proposal announced by the Assembly on Wednesday, farmers would be allowed to build houses on their land to help their children stay in farming. Local councils and national park authorities, who prepare local development plans and approve planning applications, will be expected to work collaboratively with rural communities to identify opportunities for affordable housing and to diversify the rural economy.

Mr Farron has called on the UK Government to adopt a similar proposal to enable his own "Home on the Farm" scheme, which would allow underused farm buildings to undergo conversion into affordable housing, to be put into practice nationwide and significantly increased in scale.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The plans put forward by the Welsh Assembly will be of tremendous benefit to the farming community and rural areas by allowing young farmers to manage or work part-time on the farm while the older farmer remained in their home and worked part-time or retired. ".

"This announcement just reinforces the need for affordable housing in rural areas and the potential of schemes such as my Home on the Farm to deliver housing where it is needed.

"I'd like to see the government in England follow the example of the Welsh Assembly by giving local authorities the powers to go ahead and buy properties in communities where there is a need for affordable homes for local people."