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Government backs rural communities with future plans

The new neighbourhoods will make the most of existing buildings, help provide homes for local people and help rural businesses who often find it difficult to recruit and keep staff priced out of rural communities.

A £1million fund jointly provided by Communities and Local Government and Defra will provide expert assistance and training on design, and help councils work closely with local communities to develop masterplans, identifying best practice that will provide a model for rural authorities across the country.

Housing Minister John Healey also announced a consultation on proposals to encourage rural landowners to release more land that will be used to build affordable housing for local people. Proposals include allowing local landowners to retain the freehold on the land, with housing associations paying an upfront or annual payment for the lease.

These announcements are the latest stage in the Government’s plans to help rural communities thrive by providing more affordable housing and greater freedom to develop strong local economies. 

Healey said: "A lack of affordable housing in the countryside can be a real problem for rural communities. That’s why we are determined to help young families find homes they can afford where they want to live, and help rural businesses recruit and retain local staff who will not be priced out of the countryside." 

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