Friday, 06 May 2011 11:33

Business leader blasts Localism Bill

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Business leader blasts Localism Bill

THE government's Localism Bill will increase red tape for businesses in the countryside, it is claimed.

Proposals in the Bill would also discourage the provision of land and buildings for use by local communities, said the Country Land and Business Association.

Plans spelled out in a government consultation document were deeply flawed, the association claimed.

"These proposals will not work in practice," said CLA president and Yorkshire landowner William Worsley.

"Ministers have frequently mentioned the plight of rural pubs and post offices but this is not addressed by the Bill or the consultation document.

"Proposals to make these countryside businesses more economically viable by reducing red tape and the tax burden – as the government has often promised to do, would have been very welcome."

Instead, the government had decided to take the opposite approach by proposing more rules and regulations.

These regulations would give local authorities the power to ban owners from disposing of land and buildings until the local community has had a chance to raise funds to bid for them.

Mr Worsley said: "As a result the owner will lose the chance to sell or transfer his property at a time of his or her own choosing."

This would make it much harder to plan ahead or take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

"It is very bad news for rural businesses.

"For generations, landowners in rural areas have provided privately owned assets for the good of the local community, but this Bill's proposals threaten this long-standing tradition.

"There is hardly a village in the country that has not benefited from the landowner providing a playing field or village hall."

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