The Rural Perspective to the White Paper

The government’s white paper, ‘Planning for the Future’ is strong on radical ideas, but leaves much to further guidance and legislation, raising some fundamental questions for rural communities

Rural communities have too often been marginalised through the planning process. Some are debarred from housing and economic development leading to the loss of low income and young households. Others have been forced to receive development of a scale and type that is inappropriate and does not meet local needs.

Over the next few weeks, ACRE will examine the Government’s proposals to assess whether the planning changes outlined today will allow all rural communities to secure the development they need to thrive. Their response will be based on the following questions:

  • Will the proposals allow all rural communities the opportunity to grow at an appropriate rate and be sustainable?
  • Will they address the acute shortage of affordable housing in many rural communities?
  • Will they support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs in rural areas?
  • Will they provide the physical and community infrastructure essential to inclusive and cohesive communities?
  • Will they ensure rural communities are equipped to respond to the climate emergency?
  • Will they provide safeguards to ensure that development provides long term benefits to the community?
  • Will rural communities be able to withstand inappropriate development through a democratically accountable process?
  • Will rural communities, often without fast broadband, be able to engage with the proposed digital process for developing local and Neighbourhood Plans?
  • Will there be there be the financial backing that ensures the vision and needs of rural communities set out in Local and Neighbourhood Plans can be met?

They have also, in conjunction with the Rural Services Network (RSN), Plunkett Foundation and Rural Housing Alliance written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Governement, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.

View their response below (click on the document to download as a pdf).