Building up to 10 new homes in every village in the UK over the next five years would help solve the current housing crisis and provide much needed properties for rural communities, according to a new report from land brokers Aston Mead Land and Planning.
The report suggests that over 300,000 new homes could be provided if planning permission was given for between five and 10 properties in every village.
The firm said that not only would this provide homes where they are needed but it could involve local people in the decision making process and bring genuine benefits to local communities.
Adam Hesse, planning director at Aston Mead Land & Planning, claims this could produce over 300,000 new properties in a way which would be a genuine benefit to local communities.
He said: “Instead of having hundreds of homes imposed on them by big construction companies, the villagers themselves could play a part in deciding where these new homes are built, their size and cost, and what they look like.
“This would help ensure vibrant communities, boosted by the arrival of new families with children attending local schools. It might also prevent the closure of shops or pubs through lack of support, as well as avoiding a level of demand on the local infrastructure which would be unsustainable.”
He pointed out that with over 30,000 villages in the UK, that’s an additional 300,000 properties that otherwise simply would not be built and this would be in addition to the creation of 14 garden villages that the Government has already announced which would create 48,000 new homes.
He added: “Understandably, people living in villages are concerned about changes to their surroundings and to their way of life. This can lead to charges of ‘nimbyism’ whereas in fact it’s more often a reasonable fear of transforming the character of these villages forever.”
He believes it would be better for small and medium-sized builders to consult with the rural community and build up to 10 bespoke properties, of a style and mix considered suitable, and designed to suit each village’s requirements and the sales could even be restricted to those already living locally.”
Hesse also explained that most UK villages have a parcel of land within the area of the local plan suitable for such small scale construction. “People very often don’t realise the construction possibilities of the land near where they live. It could be a former builder’s yard, petrol station, or unused paddock on the edge of the village.
“In some cases, the building of houses there would be a positive enhancement of the surroundings, as well as adding to the area’s vibrancy and desirability. No one would be forced to sell a piece of land if they didn’t like what was being proposed for it.”