Rural Exception Sites: A Step-by-Step
|Step 1: Identify a
The process begins by assessing whether
or not there is a need in your local community for affordable
This need will usually be identified
through a housing needs survey. The survey will be
carried out independently by a rural housing
enabler (a point of contact between the Parish Council,
District Council, housing association and local community). They
will gather evidence from local people to establish how many
residents are currently in need of affordable housing.
The results of this survey will highlight
whether or not there is a need for affordable housing in the
parish. It will also highlight how much residents can realistically
afford to pay to purchase or rent a new home.
|Step 2: Choose a
Once a need for affordable housing has
been established, suitable sites for development by the Housing
Association can then be considered. The views of the local
community will be sought and considered in choosing the most
appropriate place for the affordable housing.
Often, rural exception sites will be
located adjacent to the village boundary, as a
natural addition to the local community.
|Step 3: Plan and design
|Affordable housing will be built to a
high standard, usually with well-proportioned rooms, and a good
amount of outdoor space.
Input will be sought from the Parish Council
as to the design of the new properties. Consideration will be given
to building materials and outside space to ensure the development
is aesthetically pleasing but also consistent with the
surrounding style of buildings.
In this way, the properties should enhance the
local area as well as providing much needed housing for the
|Step 4: Seek planning
Planning permission will be sought once a
need for affordable housing has been identified, an appropriate
site has been chosen and the design of the properties agreed.
The decision is likely to take a minimum
of 2 months and will usually be taken by the planning committee
rather than a planning officer.
|Step 5: Construct and
If planning permission
is granted, allocation of the properties can begin. In order to
ensure the local need is met, a Local Lettings Plan will
usually be drawn up by the Housing Association and the Council
and agreed by Members, outlining how properties will be
Bids will be invited
from residents on the Council waiting list as well as the Housing
Association waiting list, and houses allocated in line with the
local connection criteria. This should ensure the local need for
affordable housing identified at the beginning of the process is
The Regeneration Team