Rural exception sites and the delivery of affordable rural homes

English Rural Housing Association published a report on Land, Landowners and the Delivery of Affordable Homes in Rural Areas on 11 September 2023.

The report's main argument is that the need for affordable housing extends beyond city limits, often hitting rural communities hardest due to unique challenges such as high property prices and low average incomes. Rural Exception Sites have become a beacon of hope for such communities as these sites are designed to provide affordable homes that meet current local housing needs and remain perpetually.

The report delves into relevant case studies that bring to life the transformative power of Rural Exception Sites; local councils were cited as integral to the process with eight local council examples included.

CLA Property and Business Policy Adviser, Avril Roberts, wrote: "The purpose of the report is to offer recommendations which, if enacted, would make rural exception sites a more prominent way of delivering rural housing across all rural authorities. The recommendations include:

  • Getting good information to parish councils – including by supplying every parish council with information about how the rural exception site policy works in their area.
  • Understanding what makes rural exception sites different.
  • Qualifying landowner incentives – Specifically bringing together a taskforce to develop guidance on possible incentives.
  • Better use of Rural Exception Sites through a national programme.
  • Promoting ‘good design’."

Read the article.

In South Warwickshire, WRCC's Rural Housing Enabler, Sarah Brooke-Taylor, is ready to assist parish and town councils. Find out more

Read the Parish Councillors’ Guide to Rural Affordable Housing