Hastoe welcomes Government concession to protect rural areas

13/04/2016
Hastoe has welcomed a Government concession in the House of Lords on Monday which will see Starter Homes exempted from Rural Exception Sites.

Hastoe, as part of a wider consortium of peers and rural housing groups including the CLA and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), has been arguing for a series of measures to be added to the Housing and Planning Bill to help protect the balance of tenures, types and the affordability of housing in rural communities.

Following a debate in the House of Lords on the Bill on Monday, the Government agreed to amend the Bill to exclude Starter Homes from Rural Exception Sites to ensure housing on these sites remain affordable for the local community in perpetuity.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe Group, welcoming the concession said:

“People in rural areas face particular difficulties in accessing an affordable home, with low local incomes, and high property values.

“Requiring Starter Homes to be built on Rural Exception Sites is not the answer to increasing the supply of affordable home in rural communities. It would have undermined the Rural Exception Site policy by deterring landowners from bringing forward land for affordable housing because the homes built would not be available for the benefit of the local community in perpetuity.

“The Government have listened to the voice of rural communities and we welcome their decision to exempt Rural Exception Sites from the Starter Homes requirement.”

-ENDS-

For further information and interviews:

Tom Platt, Hastoe Housing Group, 020 8973 0437 or tplatt@hastoe.com

Notes to editors:

Rural Exception sites are sites for affordable housing development in rural locations where market housing would not normally be acceptable because of planning policy constraints.

Hastoe Group is the leading rural affordable housing specialist and operates on a not-for-profit basis, with four subsidiaries (Hastoe Homes, Sustainable Homes, Hastoe Wyvern and Hastoe Capital plc). Hastoe owns and manages over 7,000 homes in southern England for affordable housing through letting and shared ownership. Half of these homes are in rural areas. Hastoe works closely with its residents to ensure it provides sustainable homes in sustainable communities. Further information can be found at: www.hastoe.com

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