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At CLA’s first Kent Debate, the Impact of development on rural businesses will be under discussion.

Pressures on land across the South East have never been higher, especially in Kent, where there are multiple schemes under discussion from large infrastructure projects to major new developments.

The CLA, which represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses, is holding a debate on the evening of Thursday 16 March, which will focus on the possible conflict between demand for development and the needs of the countryside.

The debate, sponsored by Kent law firm Brachers, will take place at Hadlow College. Under debate will be economic development in Kent, the impact of major infrastructure and development proposals on the landscape and rural economy and the need for further reforms to compulsory purchase laws.

Professor Allan Buckwell, Chairman of the CLA’s Kent branch will chair the debate. Speakers include Barbara Cooper, Corporate Director Growth, Environment and Transport at Kent County Council; David Lock CBE, Board Member, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and chartered town planner and Sue Young, Head of Conservation & Policy at Kent Wildlife Trust.

Also on the panel will be Andrew Shirley, Chief Surveyor at the CLA, Lee May, Planning Law Partner at Brachers and Tom French, Director (Rural) at BTF Partnership.

CLA Chief Surveyor Andrew Shirley said: All infrastructure providers must recognise the long term impacts of their schemes on individuals and businesses in the countryside.  The benefits of these schemes are often not felt by the businesses that suffer the years or decades of uncertainty through to construction.  That is why it is important that those planning such schemes consider and mitigate the impact on landowners and rural businesses from the outset, not as an afterthought.”

Brachers Partner, Lee May added: “Given the numerous infrastructure projects across Kent, the debate is a welcome opportunity for local businesses and landowners to have their say and be part of the discussion. Brachers has a long standing association with the CLA and are delighted to be part of this debate and share our expertise, particularly in relation to planning and property law, alongside other leading experts on the panel.”

The Kent Debate is free to attend but places must be booked in advance either on line at www.cla.org.uk (search for Kent Debate) or by calling the CLA’s South East office on: 01264 313434.

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