Landowners call on Ministers to unlock opportunity to meet rural housing needs

20 July 2016

Landowners have set out the priorities for the new Ministerial team in charge of housing and planning policy calling on them to unlock the opportunities available to tackle the acute housing shortage in rural areas.

The organisation which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has written to new Secretary of State Sajid Javid and Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell outlining 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 provide nearly 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas and are keen to build and manage their own affordable housing. 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.”

The CLA’s letter also includes recommendations about changes to planning policy which could offer valuable economic benefits to small businesses prevented from expanding or diversifying by the expensive and extensive planning application process.

Mr Murray added: “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.”

Read the letters in full here.