Thursday, 21 July 2016 10:47

'Unlock' rural housing government urged

Written by  Ruralcity Media
'Unlock' rural housing government urged

RURAL landowners have called on the government to tackle the rural housing shortage as a matter of urgency.

The Country Land and Business Association said ministers should "unlock the potential" to tackle the acute housing shortage in rural areas.

The plea was outlined by the CLA in letters to communities secretary Sajid Javid and housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell.

It follows the Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Theresa May.

In the letters, the CLA outlines how landowners already contribute to the supply of homes in rural areas and how they could do more with changes to government policy.

CLA president Ross Murray said: "We face an acute national housing shortage but it is within rural areas that the shortage is felt most keenly.

"Rural homes cost 22% more than in urban areas and in English rural areas only 8% of homes are classed as affordable.

"This has a significant impact on the rural economy, as it forces young people to move away and stifles job creation, perpetuating low wages in rural areas.

Landowners already provided nearly 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas and were keen to build and manage their own affordable housing, said Mr Murray.

"There is significant potential across our rural areas to build new homes, usually in small quantities to meet the needs for incremental growth that our villages are crying out for.

"Only by unlocking this potential can we start to alleviate the lack of housing in our countryside."

Changes to planning policy could offer valuable economic benefits to small businesses, claims the CLA.

Those businesses are currently prevented from expanding or diversifying by the expensive and extensive planning application process, it argues.

Mr Murray said: "Increasing the supply of all tenures of housing, developing new business spaces and commercial opportunities reinvigorates rural communities and helps to build a stronger, more sustainable countryside."

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Derrick Dyas)


    This is a much better message than the one often ascribed to local builders who want affordable homes for local people excluded from any Planning obligations.
    I only hope that the new Government listen to the Landowners, who have a vested interest in the countryside, than the builders whose vested interest is only profit.

  • Guest (C. P. Hassall)


    Trust the CLA to be lobbying hard at the new ministers to further weaken the protection of the countryside afforded by the planning laws.
    I only hope that the new Government is being lobbied equally hard by CPRE and other bodies devoted to protection of the countryside from rampant housing development. These bodies are not motivated by vested financial interest but by the altruistic desire to save England's unspoiled countryside for the future.

    from Bideford, UK
  • Guest (Derrick Dyas)


    Mr/Mrs/Ms Hassall,
    The CLA are not talking about "rampant housing development" but new housing, that is "affordable" for local people to ensure that rural communities can remain vibrant and sustainable.
    There are many local landowners who are willing to sell land to specialist organisations because they recognise that without affordable housing, for local people, villages will simply die and become economic ghettos for those who commute to towns/cities and shop at Waitrose.
    Housing or stagnation

    from Solihull, UK

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