While no one would wish to see the wholesale development of the countryside, Sir Simon Jenkins’ comment to the Home Builders Federation, that young families have no right to a home in the village where they were born, is a view that could hasten the end of many rural communities.
A lack of affordable homes creates a vicious cycle which if not broken leads to the break-up of communities, a loss of services and results in villages that have no long term future.
The rural population has grown by 800,000 people in the last decade, twice the rate of urban areas, driving up house prices and pricing young families out of the communities in which they work and in which they have often been brought up.
This problem is one of particular concern in the agricultural sector and among key workers.
Rural housing prices are on average 5.4 times the annual wage in the countryside. Those young people unable to find homes often move to urban areas, placing a further strain on affordable housing in these areas.
This can also increase the distance people travel to work with negative environmental consequences. Homes and jobs need to go together. Without homes and jobs there is no community to support local shops, schools and services.
Barney White-Spunner, Executive Chairman of the Countryside AllianceSubscribe to our Newsletter