Affordable_Housing_CornwallThe Government’s removal of the affordable housing obligation for developments of fewer than 10 properties is a very disappointing move, the Countryside Alliance has said.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis confirmed the move last Friday in the House of Commons, claiming it would provide a boost for small and medium house builders. 

But the Countryside Alliance says this well-meant move by Government could rebound on rural communities by further pricing young and poorer people out of rural communities

Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “There is a desperate need for more affordable housing in rural communities and we have grave concerns that the Government’s decision to scale back the imposition of Section 106 agreements will lead to fewer homes being built in rural areas which are within the financial reach of local people.

“We recognise that in the past some developments have been held up by unrealistic and uneconomical agreements, but believe reducing access to Section 106s will lead to fewer affordable homes in rural areas.

“We urge the Government to look at schemes which provide incentives for landowners who make land available for affordable housing in rural communities.”

For more information, contact the Countryside Alliance press office on 0207 840 9220 or email [email protected]

Notes for journalists
• 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 house prices have risen 82% in 10 years, faster than urban areas. In 2011, the average lower quartile house price (the cheapest 25 per cent) was 8.3 times the average lower quartile earnings (the lowest earing 25 per cent) in predominantly rural areas. This compares with 7.1 in predominantly urban areas and 7.3 in England as a whole