Rural homes and jobs boost with proposed changes to national planning rules, says CLA

Date published: 06 March 2018

The Government has published a consultation on the draft revised text of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It contains a number of changes that will see increased opportunities for building much needed homes for village communities and creating opportunities for business growth and change.  

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has reacted to the proposals that contain a number of lobbying wins for the organisation.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: “Housing need is widespread throughout rural England so it is good to see the Government recognise the specific needs of those in the countryside and be bold in its approach to addressing them.

“The CLA has long argued that in the right circumstances, land outside of existing settlements can play an important role in meeting the housing and business needs of a rural community. By backing this policy, the Government is showing a marked shift in its attitude to how planning authorities should treat development opportunities outside of towns and villages.

“We are pleased to see the Government propose entry level exception sites as another means to provide affordable homes for those who live and work in the countryside struggling to get their foot on the housing ladder. We have plenty of ideas that we will be feeding into the Government on how this policy could work and how rural landowners can play a key role in bringing these sites forward.

“We also welcome the fact that under the policy revisions rural exception sites are now considered as appropriate development within the green belt. These small areas of land, which are not normally used for housing but where affordable homes can be built for local people, give all rural communities the ability to build the homes that are desperately needed while keeping them affordable in perpetuity.

“In this announcement the Government has backed our call for flexibility to allow the building of new homes within existing farms to help farmers retire and free up farmhouses to get the next generation into the industry. The draft text contains a new exception from restrictions on building in open countryside for those taking majority control of a farm business. The Government has recognised this simple change will help to smooth the notoriously difficult process of farm succession in time for an expected increase in retirement driven by Brexit.”

The CLA will respond directly to the consultation which closes on 5 May 2018.

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