Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:01

Experts to discuss rural housing

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Experts to discuss rural housing

THE issue of rural housing in a changing and challenging environment is set to be discussed by local authorities and other stakeholders.

Organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing in partnership with the Rural Services Network, the conference is due to take place in Exeter on 25 September.

Rural areas are some of the least affordable places to live in the country.

The event will support rural authorities and partners to address significant issues around rural housing from management issues, the impacts of welfare reform and the development of new affordable rural housing.

Within the current challenging environment it is more important than ever that good quality and affordable housing is available for rural communities.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) removed swathes of the previous planning framework.

Following its launch, the government made further attempts to drive forward new housing development.

But barriers still exist to this resource which is so vital in meeting local needs and contributing to the sustainability of local communities, villages and towns.

The conference will examine how to make the NPPF work for rural housing in this continuously changing environment.

It will explore the viability of alternative models of housing delivery in a rural context.

Experts will also consider the introduction of neighbourhood plans and the role they have in encouraging rural communities to accept development.

Any household spending more than 10% of its income on fuel is in fuel poverty.

With earnings often being lower in rural areas than they are in urban areas and the increased challenges provided by housing not connected to main utility networks fuel poverty is greater.

The event will also investigate the challenges presented by welfare reform in rural areas and look at how to overcome them.

Speakers will analyse the importance of providing suitable accommodation for older people, necessary adaptations and ensuring links with local services to avoid isolation.

For further details, including how to book, click here.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Catherine Mack)


    Any discussion on the availability of rural housing must include
    1. The impact of the national house buying market on the price and availability for rural dwellers
    2. The availability of transport choices for rural community dwellers. A sustainable community relies on a mix of ages and skills to support the needs, and these often do not have access to a car.
    House building through more relaxed framework will not solve the problem alone

  • Guest (Derrick Dyas)


    Planners' attitudes towards the concept of "sustainability" will need to be explored. Objections to small rural developments have been based on the assertion that some villages are already not sustainable - yet people are living there! Frequently planners do not recognise that providing a small number of homes for local people will make a village more sustainable or will help prevent further decline.

    from Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  • Guest (Tony Fryatt)

    In reply to: Guest (Derrick Dyas) Report

    Totally agree with Derrick. I live in a community that is deemed to be "unsustainable". When the children want to have houses of their own or people need to downsize, they have to move out of the community. The children and most of the more senior residents have lived in the community for most of their lives, but there simply are no smaller properties available. The old farm workers' cottages have all been developed and extended beyond recognition.

  • I'm afraid that sustainability seems to be a never ending issue.. as it often remains as a concept but fails to materialise to the lack of understanding and action by those in charge of rural housing development. We need more pride and ambitious efforts to improve the quality of such projects.

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