Research has found that housing delivery in rural areas is being held back by concerns and uncertainty over the planning process.
The research carried out by the CLA, which represents landowners and rural businesses, found that almost two-thirds of its members would build new homes to rent or buy if they had more confidence in the planning system. Despite almost half of the CLA membership surveyed believing there is a housing crisis in their community, many are being put off building by the risky, complex and inflexible planning system. Another major factor giving landowners doubts about building is the attitude to development locally, with a third of those surveyed citing this as a barrier to development.
Commenting on the housing situation in rural Britain, CLA President Ross Murray said that although the housing crisis is “often seen through an urban lens it is no less acute in the countryside.”
Despite uncovering landowners’ concerns about delivering more housing, the research found that many are already taking steps to help provide affordable housing for their communities. Nearly half of the CLA membership let at least one property below market rents. 41% let to an employee, while 29% let to provide affordable housing for their local community. However, there may be a slower supply of new affordable rental properties in rural communities, as many CLA members also said they found that housing associations are rarely willing to take on the small number of affordable homes built as part of these rural developments.