Average house prices in rural England have more than doubled over the past decade to over £250,000 but the average salary remains at approx. £21,000 and the number of people on social housing waiting lists in rural areas has risen to 750,000 over the same period.
Communities minister Andrew Stunell has called on all Councils to consider amending existing planning policies to make it easier for Farmers to develop disused farm buildings and offer affordable homes on the farm for local people.
Stunell said “Farmers are the custodians of our countryside, managing thousands of acres of rural land across England. But when they want to make disused buildings available for new homes, they can often face an uphill battle to get planning permission in the face of their council’s development plans. That’s why I want to make it easier for farmers to offer homes on the farm for local people”.
National Farmers Union planning adviser Ivan Moss said; “the home on the farm scheme is an excellent opportunity for farmers who want to use their outbuildings for a constructive purpose. It should also sustain the rural economy by providing homes for those working in it. The NFU will watch with interest the outcomes of the first applications from farmers to their local councils to convert disused buildings into affordable homes and hope that councils will be equally eager to be pioneers in the scheme”.
Source of information: The Planning Portal