'Low cost, local and low on hassle' - the goal for Affordable Rural Housing SchemesSpeaking at HRH The Prince of Wales's Affordable Rural Housing Initiative conference today (22 November), President of the Country Land & Business Association Mark Hudson called for landowners and the public sector to work in partnership to tackle the rural housing crisis: "We cannot rely on the public sector to provide all the low-cost homes needed in rural areas and, indeed, the public sector purse does not stretch that far. For people to be able to live in the village where they grew up, for rural businesses to be able to recruit and retain local labour, for rural communities to survive and grow landowners must be supported and encouraged to help supply low-cost homes. How is this to be done? Via Government encouraging, not abolishing, the 'exception site' rule which permits certain rural developments. Via a more flexible planning system that welcomes innovative design and small scale social landlords who are allowed to cross-subsidise affordable social housing with market-value residential developments. Via landowners talking to the planners and the communities at a much earlier stage.
"Creating enough affordable housing to sustain our smaller settlements isn't easy. Yes, it's tough, yes, it's currently choking on red tape and, yes, it involves the public sector allowing private landlords to fund their participation in affordable housing schemes via private development. But where communities, authorities and landowners have forged ahead, they've shown it can work."
22 November 2004
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Christopher Price is the Director Policy and Advice at the CLA. He has overall responsibility for managing all the CLA's national policy and advisory work. He makes sure that the organisation's policy work is focused on what matters most, and that members' queries are dealt with accurately and efficiently. A planning and environmental lawyer by background, he joined the CLA as public law adviser in 2002. He became Chief Legal Advisor in 2007 and took up his current post a year later. Before coming to the CLA Christopher worked in local government for a number of different authorities.
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