Rural communities let down by local planners over new homes

Latest figures show nearly half of applications for permitted development rights rejected between July and September this year.


Rural communities “crying out” for new homes are losing faith in local planning authorities that rejected nearly half of applications for permitted development rights between July and September this year.

The CLA says local councils are still not convinced of the value that converting old farm buildings into residential homes to help solve the rural housing crisis – despite revised government guidance to boost development.

Now, Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma has been challenged to set out “even clearer” guidance for planning authorities so boost the delivery of new homes in rural areas. 

Latest DCLG statistics show that 49% of the applications for permitted development rights to convert redundant agricultural buildings into new homes were refused over the quarter.

Permitted development rights allow certain types of building work to be undertaken without needing to apply for full planning permission.

But new figures show that approvals have dipped by 10% compared to the same period in 2016.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said the figures offered little faith to farmers and landowners that these rights can deliver.

“Rural communities are crying out for more housing of all types and tenures.

“Over the past 40 years, it has been extremely difficult to deliver new development in the countryside because national planning policy has been focused on our towns and cities – these areas are being let down,” said Breitmeyer.

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