Monday, 14 April 2014 13:41

Views sought on small housing schemes

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Views sought on small housing schemes

THE government is seeking views on exempting small housing schemes from section 106 affordable housing requirements.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is canvassing opinion on proposals to introduce a 10 unit threshold for section 106 affordable housing contributions.

It is seeking views on the idea as part of the government's "Planning Performance and Planning Contributions" consultation.

Andy Dean, spokesman on housing issues for the Rural Services Network, said: "From a rural perspective, this is a hugely significant issue.

The clear exemption proposed as part of the consultation for rural exception sites was to be welcomed, explained Mr Dean.

But if the proposed threshold was implemented this would significantly impact on the delivery of much needed affordable homes in rural communities.

"Rural affordable homes are difficult to deliver and it is critical that existing routes to deliver such homes are not cut off.

"A large proportion of the delivery of affordable housing in communities of less than 3,000 population is through section 106 sites that are 10 units or less.

"Removing this potential delivery, therefore, would have a potentially massive impact on delivery."

As the availability of public resources had reduced, the section 106 route had become an increasingly important mechanism to lever in funding to ensure delivery still took place.

Introducing the threshold wouldf reduce the provision of affordable homes in rural areas.

The Rural Services Network is working with the Rural Housing Alliance to compile information from rural housing associations and others as it devises a formal response to the consultation.

"We urge you to respond directly," said Mr Dean. "But if there is any evidence of the impact this change is likely to have in your area, I would be pleased to hear from you."

The consultation closes on 4 May 2014. It can be accessed here. Mr Dean can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

People in this conversation

  • Guest (David Watson)

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    It is essential that this idea is rejected. All that will happen is that private developers will build in blocks of less than ten units and we will have no housing for those at the lower end of the wealth scale. Typical of this conservative government.

    from 17 Ashdown Chase, Nutley, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3LY, UK
  • Guest (ann lacey)

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    I agree this idea should be rejected. It sounds helpful but developers could be made to build a certain number of affordable houses as they are now in their planning applications. Our Neighbourhood Plan is being promoted on the premise that as a community we receive 25% of the community infrastructure levy.

    from Wiltshire, UK
  • Guest (David Watson)

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    Ann, from a different part of the country sees the need for affordable social housing. This government is now suggesting that developers do not have to supply this type of housing in future schemes, such as the new garden city. Where are people on low incomes expected to live?

    from Nutley, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22, UK
  • Guest (Roger Gambba-Jones)

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    Sadly, this proposal demonstrates just how much more effective the lobby skills of the house building industry is compared to those on the other side of the argument are. Ultimately, this just plays into the hands of those landowners who are content to sit of their particular piece of land, until they see opportunity to ring every penny out of it they can. Rural development is often based on sites of less than then, so this will exclude local people from access to a decent home to rent or buy.

    from Lincolnshire, UK
  • Guest (Amanda Wirgman)

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    entirely agree with ear**** comments. It's bad enough that the NPPF has led to widespread development in rural areas and AONB sites. At least with the requirement to provide some sort of affordable housing there is a small compensation to the countryside being concreted over!

    from Devon, UK

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