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FARMLAND MUST NOT BE WASTED FOR RURAL IDYLL - GEORGE

August 4, 2003 11:59 PM

Sheep at Mudchute City Farm, east London.The latest rural land survey published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows a trend towards city-dwellers buying farms with no intention of farming the land.

Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary said:

"Farming has long been in the doldrums. The trend of people from London and other cities, acquiring their own private green belt and pricing farmers out of productive land is another nail in the coffin.

"It is vital that we act immediately to discourage this pattern of wasting productive agricultural land so that wealthy city-dwellers can have their rural idyll."