Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Told to Aid Rural Housing Uplift

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Told to Aid Rural Housing Uplift

Article excerpt

The government has urged local authorities to relax their approach to the planning system and identify more sites in small villages where homes could be built for local families.

Landowners could be offered incentives to provide sites where planners could grant 'exceptional' permission for small-scale housing developments, even where the land is covered by countryside protection policies.

The governments longawaited response to last year's review into issues facing rural communities, carried out by Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor, promised a refreshed approach' to planning. This would also allow rural businesses to expand more easily.

A £1 m competition is being launched to encourage medium-sized towns to build sustainable neighbourhoods. This is partly to avoid creating the soulless out-of-town housing and retail estates criticised in the Taylor report.

The review, commissioned by Gordon Brown soon after he became prime minister almost two years ago, warned that homes in rural areas would remain beyond the reach of most households unless planners allowed extensions to existing towns with shops and other facilities. …

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