For rural areas to survive and thrive both socially and economically,
the recommendations from the Affordable Rural Housing Commission
report issued today (Wednesday 17 May) must be implemented quickly,
"We're delighted with some of the concrete recommendations
in this report. They will not only help to sustain rural communities
but also help those farmers and landowners needing employees
to help them diversify in the face of the greatest changes in
agriculture for a generation. The report has rightly acknowledged
that rural areas should no longer play second fiddle to urban
areas in the planning process for affordable housing. The CLA
has been lobbying for sensible, realistic solutions like these
for some time and we have recently watched many of our rural
communities struggle to remain vibrant - that's why we're pleased
to see many of our ideas and initiatives clearly evident in the
report today," said CLA deputy president Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.
"Designated sites for affordable housing in rural areas
ensures that the small, incremental, organic growth of our villages
meets local needs. Exception sites ensure that local needs are
met and we're pleased that they have been retained in the recommendations.
However, as cross-subsidy on exception sites is not recommended,
we're pleased to see the opportunity to cross-subsidise on market
sites within villages.
"Farm sites and farm buildings offer a real solution to
the housing crisis in rural areas and the recommendation to re-classify
these from green to brownfield sites and make them available
for both market and affordable housing is crucial.
"Private landowners can provide real solutions to the affordable
rural housing problem. Historically however, these solutions
have not been economically viable due to tax disincentives and
we support the report's recommendation to assess this and to
look at tax incentives for private landowners. We believe this
would lead to a real increase in the amount of land coming forward
for affordable housing.
"Piloting a new leasehold model in partnership with the
Housing Corporation and the National Housing Federation is another
interesting suggestion. You can't provide housing without the
involvement of a landowner and the CLA will be happy to find
ways in which landowners can play their part in the process without
losing some benefit from the land that they have made available," Mr
David Fursdon, President of the CLA, is one of 12 Affordable Rural Housing Commissioners.
Government welcomes report on affordable rural housing
tax will stifle UK housing supply
farmers to trade in farming rights
land tax threatens entrepreneurial farmers