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New planning guidance to make it easier to grow fruit and vegetables commercially in Powys

Powys in Mid Wales

New planning guidance has been introduced in Powys with the aim of making it easier to set up market gardens or smallholdings in the county.

The advice covers the need to have a home nearby when running a small-scale horticultural business in the Powys Local Planning Authority area (all parts of the county outside of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park).

It should make it easier to get planning permission from Powys County Council for a house in the open countryside when a grower needs it to be close to their crops.

“The evidence suggests that small-scale horticulture can be both highly productive and profitable,” said Matt Perry, Powys County Council’s Chief Officer – Place, “but despite this a large proportion of the vegetables and fruit we eat every day aren’t grown in Powys or even in the UK!

“There is great potential for much more of the food we buy to be grown closer to home, boosting the Powys economy, providing a more predictable supply of fresh and nutritious produce and reducing our carbon footprints as we look to address the climate crisis.”

A new UK Food Security Index commissioned by DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) shows that just 55 per cent of the vegetables and 17 per cent of the fruit we consume is grown in the UK.

Commercial vegetable and fruit growers in Powys may be able to access financial support for their investment plans through the Welsh Government’s Food Business Accelerator Scheme.

You can access the planning guidance on the Powys Council website here.