Maintaining the soil
Safeguarding our soils
You are invited to sign and pass on the petition Safeguard our Soils, Mr. Pickles!, launched in the New Year following advice from the CPRE and Soil Association, the full text of which is below.
Why is agricultural land, described in one planning application as 'a mixture of 80% Grade 2 (very good quality) and 20% Subgrade 3b (good quality)', being developed? We need change before any more agricultural land is offered to/bought up by developers.
Who can make this happen?
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr. Eric Pickles MP
Why is the petition important?
We must accept that Britain cannot rely on world food supplies because, as prices rise, Britain needs a stable, secure food supply, with short distance from field to plate.
Over the next 50 years, food and farming face the stark challenge of providing better nutrition for more people in spite of rapid environmental change, while cutting our diet's impact on natural resources, ecosystems and the climate. This calls for changes in our eating habits, reductions in food waste and improvements in food production. We want to make sure organic and other agro ecological approaches are at the heart of efforts to achieve this.
It used to be the case in England that the grade of agricultural land was a prime consideration for planners and local authorities in allocating sites for development.
But changes to planning policy in the late 1980's downgraded the importance of agricultural land classifications in planning, in response to the more globalised market for food that had developed and this level of attention to quality of land was no longer needed.