§ Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer
asked her Majesty's Government:
Whether there are any circumstances in which the use of agricultural land for farm scale evaluation would require planning permission from the relevant local authority. [HL3497]
§ Lord Whitty
The application of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to farm scale evaluation of genetically modified crops would depend upon whether the use of agricultural land for such evaluations would involve a "material change of use" constituting development for the purpose of that legislation. This would involve the consideration of a 63WA number of factors, including whether the use of farm scale evaluation would fall within the definition of "agriculture" and not constitute development. In any event each case would have to be considered on its own merits.
The Government are unable to give an authoritative interpretation of the legislation, this being a matter for the courts.