Darley Eco-House



Recent Government statistics highlight the growing volume of families on local authorities’ housing waiting lists in rural areas. Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) reveal that based on the current rate at which social housing is being provided in rural areas, it could take as long as 130 years to house all individuals on the waiting list.

CPRE is dedicated to helping rural areas prosper and have expressed their fears given the distinct lack of focus on the housing needs of people in rural areas, fuelling a crisis in the British countryside. They are deeply concerned that communities in market towns and villages across the country are being forgotten by central Government. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) data (available here) depicts 173,584 families as currently being on the waiting list in rural councils. In contrast, there was a mere 1,336 homes for social rent built in those same councils’ areas. 

Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, stated in response that the current Government has “made it our mission” to reverse a 30-year failure of successive administrations to build enough homes, and added that it was investing £9bn in affordable housing until March 2022.

A lot more needs to be done in order for the Government to meet this intention. Rural Solutions is eager to encourage developers to focus on the opportunity presented in rural communities.

Not only this, but The National Audit Office (NAO) has also recently released a statement asserting the Government’s housing planning system is unable to demonstrate it is meeting housing demand effectively.

By law, local authorities are now required to have an advanced plan for the building of new homes. Without this plan, developers are granted more liberties to build where they wish.

NAO states 54% of local planning authorities are without a plan for new homes and 50% likely to fail the housing delivery test in 2020, presenting further potential for residential development on land up and down the country.


• The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s target figure for new homes per year was 222,000 – number of new homes in 2017-18 and will be 300,000 from the mid-2020s
• Only 44.1% of local authorities that have a local plan for new homes that is less than five years old
• 50% of local authorities are likely to fail the ‘housing delivery test’ in 2020 for not building enough homes and could face penalties
• 81% of major residential planning applications were approved by local authorities in 2017-18
• The average time the Planning Inspectorate estimates it takes for it to determine an informal hearing or inquiry-based housing appeal is 38 weeks
• 47% of local authorities that can get contributions from developers towards the cost of infrastructure through the Department’s preferred mechanism, called the Community Infrastructure Levy
• Overall decrease in numbers of local authority planning staff between 2006 and 2016 was 15%.

To discuss the potential in your land, please contact our planning team.