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Wednesday 28th March 2012 | 08:31
Commission for Rural Communities Press Release
There has been much debate about the effects of the National Planning Policy Framework on rural areas. The CRC believes that the new framework will bring a number of important benefits to those who live and work in rural communities. The Commission welcomes:
• The importance placed on building more affordable housing, including on exception sites. The availability of affordable housing is one of the most important issues facing rural communities, as increasingly young adults are moving away, unable to afford the price of properties.
• The emphasis on developing the rural economy, which will help to help to ensure that businesses thrive and jobs are available for rural people.
• The commitment to new developments which promote the viability of local services.
• The emphasis on local planning authorities devising their own policies on brownfield land.
However, the Commission thinks that there are risks around:
• The extent to which Local Authorities will be able to accommodate the aims of all neighbourhood plans into a coherent Local Plan
• The capacity of some rural communities to develop Neighbourhood Plans
• The application of the presumption for sustainable development during the 12-month transition period in rural areas where Local Authorities do not already have Local Plans in place
Commenting on the NPPF, Chairman of the Commission Dr Stuart Burgess said: “I am pleased that Ministers have acknowledged the importance of striking the right balance between economic, social and environmental priorities in rural areas. I look forward to seeing rural communities working with Local Authorities and others to ensure that they remain sustainable, successful places to live.”