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Planning changes could hit rural housing in Shropshire, claim

By Sue Austin | Property | Published:

Proposed planning reforms, which could mean only large-scale housing developments having to provide affordable homes, could make the lack of housing in rural communities in Shropshire worse than they are today, an organisation has warned.

Housing changes could hit rural Shropshire, it is claimed

The claim has come from countryside charity the CPRE, which says even small building sites should make a contribution to providing housing that those on average or below average wages can afford.

It says that the Government’s new affordable housing programme, launched this week, risks looking “disingenuous” when looked at alongside proposals in the recently published planning White Paper.

The £12 billion affordable homes scheme,which will run from 2021 to 2026, will be for affordable home ownership, with the remaining for discounted rent, including 10 per cent for supported housing.

However talking about the launch of the scheme by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said: “While this funding seems impressive, it was announced in the Budget and doesn’t represent any additional investment to tackle the affordability crisis.

"What’s more, the government risks looking disingenuous when it claims to be keen to tackle the issue of affordability given outrageous proposals in the recently published planning white paper.

“As things stand, the government’s planning reforms seek to scrap the requirement to deliver affordable homes on anything other than large sites, which would worsen the housing crisis.

Analysis

“Currently developers on small to medium sites are required to build affordable homes if the site includes more than 10 units.”

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Mr Fyans added: “The reforms as they stand raise this to up to 50 units leaving most rural areas with many fewer affordable homes.

"This would be disastrous as it would make the existing affordable housing crisis in our rural communities even worse.”

He said that in some rural areas house prices are often more than 10 times average earnings.

“Analysis by the CPRE has shown that nine in 10 rural areas are unaffordable for care workers in the private rented sector.

“To begin making the hard decisions and tackling the housing crisis head on, the government should listen to local communities and ensure even small sites make a contribution to housing affordability and aren’t just lining the pockets of builders delivering executive homes.

"A substantial affordable housing investment programme from the government would also have the benefit of boosting the economy in a way the proposed planning reforms couldn’t hope to achieve.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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