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State of the countryside update: Housing demand and supply
Over the last six months the environment in which housing and planning operates has changed significantly. The current challenging economic climate has contributed to a slower rate of housing supply, which, when set alongside strong housing demand is creating some significant pressure on the supply of affordable and market housing developments.
In our latest State of the Countryside Update: Housing demand and supply report on housing supply and demand, we are able to highlight how these pressures are likely to become more acute over the coming decades.
Our report has found that:
- between 2006 and 2031 demand for new housing as a result of projected household change will grow at a greater rate in rural districts than in urban districts. Urban districts will grow by 27% over that period whilst rural districts will grow by 35%
- between 2006 and 2031 there will be 356,000 new households added every five years in predominantly rural districts
- our analysis provides further evidence that housing supply is not evenly distributed within rural districts and tends to be concentrated in larger settlements
The CRC recognises that rural towns and villages are growing faster in their resident population than their urban counterparts and average population growth as a whole. To accommodate new growth in our rural towns and villages rural communities should be at the heart of community led planning to deliver housing that meets their local needs. We believe that growth, if well managed, will foster more viable local services, more affordable and well designed housing, and appropriate economic development.
In many respects, England’s rural communities are already leading the way in utilising new technologies, with new businesses start ups often commencing at the home. Housing is providing places to live and work. But this is not happening everywhere and the CRC has provided well documented evidence which shows that it is often the more vulnerable in rural society that suffer from a lack of housing. Young people, especially young families, and those working in rural areas for relatively low wages, are often the first to be priced out of their own rural communities. Losing these groups from rural society undermines the sustainability of many rural villages and towns as essential friend and family network scan be lost or disrupted.