Rural landowners have warned that the lack of flexibility in new planning rules which prevent a mix of affordable and market homes from being built on special sites in the countryside will severely limit the chances of solving the rural housing crisis.

The Government has published a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which claims to help build more homes, more quickly in places where people want to live. But according to the CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, changes made to the criteria for Entry Level Exception Sites will now encourage less land being made available for much needed homes in the countryside.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said “The new rules now state that all properties on an Entry Level Exception Site must be affordable. While we desperately need affordable homes so people can live and work in the countryside, the reality of the policy means that landowners will not bring land forward because the incentive of including market homes on the site has been removed. Without the benefit of cross subsidy, the decision to release land for housing is not financially viable so fewer homes are likely to be built.

“In the last five years, 13% of CLA members have donated or sold land at a discount for affordable housing. We made a robust case to the Government for greater incentives to help grow this figure but by making it less attractive for landowners, the Entry Level Exception Site policy severely limits the chance to solve the rural housing crisis.”

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