Cutting red tape to help rural businesses prosper

Winchester City Council is organising a free workshop for rural businesses and land owners who are contemplating applying for planning permission. The workshop will take place on Thursday 19 January from 4pm to 6.30pm at Sparsholt College near Winchester.

The key note speaker, George Hollingbery MP, the Member of Parliament for Meon Valley, will tell rural businesses what is happening at a national level to cut red tape to help local businesses prosper. 

The workshop will also give rural businesses a chance to hear how Winchester City Council is making its planning application process more customer focused in line with its Customer Service Excellence standards. Delegates will find out about the implications of localism and the new South Downs National Park, which covers much of Winchester’s rural district.  The council will use case studies to explain what is involved in making a planning application and how proposals are assessed.

The event is also supported by the Fieldfare Local Action Group which has secured LEADER funding for the rural parts of Winchester City Council and East Hampshire District Councils.

Simon Finch, Head of Planning at Winchester City Council, said,

This workshop is one of a number of improvements Winchester City Council is introducing to help rural businesses with the planning process.  The council has also identified two existing planners to act as Rural Business Advisors and is producing an easy to follow Planning Guidance for Rural Businesses leaflet."

Cllr Robert Humby, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Enforcement, added,

Winchester is a large and predominantly rural district and the council recognises the important contribution businesses and land owners make to the local economy and landscape of the countryside.  This event is designed to give specific advice to rural businesses who are thinking about applying for planning permission or are in the process of applying to further develop their existing business or to start a new enterprise.  As a rural business owner myself I know this advice will be very welcome.”

Spaces for the workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.  Pre-booking is essential.  To book your space email Alison Woods, at Winchester City Council, on or telephone 01962 848 563 by 12 January 2012.