Rural site allocations – do you have a suitable site?

ruralsiteSeveral local planning authorities such as Ashford, Babergh, Colchester, Maldon and Suffolk Coastal, have identified a need to deliver more housing in rural areas through the managed expansion of key villages.

This is a commendable approach as, without the increase of additional housing there is a real risk that rural communities will become stagnant villages.

Rural housing stock:

The particular issues surrounding lack of housing stock in rural communities has caused a long-term constraint on new housing.  This has resulted in a ‘log jam’ in the supply of family homes and in some cases decreasing local populations.

A significant contributing factor has been a succession of restrictive planning policies that have severely diminished housing supply and prevented the retention of young families from remaining in the rural area, resulting in a rapidly ageing population. As older generations are more likely to own their home outright and continue to occupy the long standing family housing, the need to increase housing in the rural area, as some local authorities have quite rightly identified, is essential to ensure balanced and sustainable rural communities.

Your land and the development plan process:

As part of the development plan process, councils will request the submission of potential development sites from land owners and developers so that they can understand the availability and deliverability of sites within their area. This request may come under one of the following public consultation titles:

  • Call for sites;
  • Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment;
  • Site Allocations DPD;
  • Local Development Plan.

The sites that have the best chance of becoming a successful rural allocation are those that are:

  • Located adjacent or in close proximity to the existing settlement boundaries or built-up extent of the village;
  • Within villages that contain some services that could include any of the following: schools, shops, public transport, doctors, public houses etc (this list is not exhaustive); and/or
  • Within villages where there is already an identified local housing need.

How do Plainview Planning add value?

Plainview Planning specialise in gaining planning permissions for landowners, with options to enable them to retain full control over the future development of their site and maximise land values. There are two primary ways in which we promote sites through the development process:

  • Professional Services – We would provide “traditional” town planning services and advice.
  • Land Promotion Agreement – With your agreement, and subject to a more detailed assessment, we would be willing to fund all professional services for an application, without any financial risk to you. Our fees would be paid from a fair percentage of uplift in the land value following any sale.

In each case we provide a robust and comprehensive service, specifically, we would:

  • coordinate your promotion efforts to make sure that the Council is provided with persuasive documentation about your site;
  • ensure that the right groups are lobbied at the right time to maximise chances of inclusion;
  • monitor the status of Local Development Frameworks throughout the country and are well placed to guide you through the administrative and political process;
  • provide professional expertise and funding to effectively promote your land and our services can be provided on a joint-venture basis.

Our experience with land promotion projects is wide ranging, to review a selection of the schemes we have been involved in please follow the link:

If you are interested in any of the points raised in this article or have a site you think may have development potential then please feel free to make contact to see how we may best assist: