Sustainable Villages Report – Making Rural Communities Fit for the Future

The CLA carried out a survey a few years back asking members what they thought about housing provision in their community. The same message came back over and over again – young people can’t afford to stay and there aren’t any suitable homes for older people to move into. 

The CLA’s new report Sustainable Villages – Making Rural Communities Fit for the Future seeks to find out what is behind this all too familiar occurrence and propose a way to address this. CLA Housing Adviser, Matthew O'Connell reports. Read the full article in December's Land & Business. 

CLA Housing Adviser, Matthew O'Connell (left) with Countryfile Reporter, Charlotte Smith (right) in Cornwall.

Local authorities don’t allocate land for development in villages, nor do most seek to meet the housing needs of their rural communities with any real vigour.

The CLA believes revising the methodology used to rank settlements to reflect modern life will give a fairer portrait of the sustainability of these communities in the 21st century, but more importantly, these communities need to have their needs met more proactively.

The key issue we have identified is that for most of these options, there needs to be evidence of who in the community needs housing. This is why one of the recommendations in the report is that if a village isn’t allocated housing, it should be a requirement for an up to date housing needs assessment to be in place.

Villages have for too long been an afterthought when it comes to meeting housing need. Our report highlights this and identifies solutions for Government to ensure rural communities are given the support they need to function in the 21st century.

 Read the full article in December's Land & Business magazine