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NALC letter to The Sunday Times raises rural housing issues

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The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and nine other organisations have raised the issue of rural housing in a joint letter to The Sunday Times.

The letter published on 27 May 2018, warns that the government's draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) could worsen the provision of affordable housing.

Tthe prime minister has declared it her personal mission to fix Britain’s housing crisis – and that rural England needs quality affordable homes in the right places.

The letter also said: “However, as it stands the draft NPPF could make this situation worse.

“The draft NPPF is a broadly positive step. Indeed, its support in principle for development that helps villages to prosper has been largely welcomed by rural organisations.

“Not so welcome, however, is the Entry Level Exception Site policy contained within the draft.

“This would allow for more land outside of normal planning boundaries to be released for development — but, unlike the existing approach to exceptional development, it does not involve the community, does not recommend meeting local housing needs and does not safeguard future affordability.

“Furthermore, given that open market homes will make a significant proportion of any sites, this policy will increase land values — which will further undermine the delivery of affordable homes to rent.

“We urge the government to reconsider. Existing policies, when applied well in practice, already deliver quality, affordable homes in rural England. This draft policy is a backward step.”

The letter was signed by following organisations: National Association of Local Councils, Rural Housing Alliance, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Rural Services Network, National Housing Federation, Action with Communities in Rural England, National CLT Network, Rural Housing Solutions, Hastoe Housing Association, and  English Rural Housing Association.

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