§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received regarding existing planning constraints on the development of farmers' markets. 
§ Ms Keeble
The Department has received a range of representations on planning arrangements for the temporary use of land for purposes including farmers' markets. Part 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) SI 1995 No 418 grants a general planning permission for the temporary use of land for up to 28 days in any calendar year, subject to a number of restrictions and conditions. In the case of markets, the permitted use is limited to a total of 14 days in recognition of the parking, litter and noise problems that often arise from such uses.
Guidance to planning authorities in PPG6 "Town Centres & Retail Developments" and PPG7 "The Countryside" encourage farm diversification and acknowledge that farm shops can help meet the demand for fresh produce as well as providing new sources of jobs and services in rural areas. Farmers' markets can also provide such a service. Farmers' markets have been established successfully throughout the country in recent years.