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RTPI responds to Government proposal to exempt rural affordable housing from planning permission

06 April 2010

The Royal Town Planning Institute has responded to John Healey's announcement of a consultation on the extension of permitted development for housing in rural areas.

The proposals, to be consulted on this summer, would allow a limited number of affordable homes to be built in rural villages of less than 3000 people without the need for individual planning applications, where the parish council backed the new homes, and had identified a registered social landlord as their development partner.

Matt Thomson, Acting Director of Policy at the RTPI, said:

\"The lack of affordable housing in rural areas to meet local needs is a pressing issue that becomes more urgent with each passing year. Imaginative solutions that go further than existing planning policies such as 'rural exceptions' schemes are needed, and the RTPI welcomes the Government's enthusiasm to address the issue.

While we agree that community-led affordable housing provision – as recommended by Matthew Taylor MP in his report Living Working Countryside – should be a cornerstone of this, we are not convinced that passing the responsibility for planning affordable housing provision to un-resourced parish councils is necessarily the right answer, particularly where this involves bypassing the planning expertise of district and unitary councils and the development plan. We await the consultation with interest.\"

CLG announcement – 'New power for parish councils to boost affordable rural housing'
More details can be found at http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1532435