The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

1m new homes – but what does it mean for rural?

It was announced last week that the government will meet its manifesto commitment to build 1million homes over this Parliament.

Making the announcement, the Prime Minster said

“Today I can confirm that we will meet our manifesto commitment to build 1 million homes over this Parliament. That’s a beautiful new home for a million individual families in every corner of our country.

“We need to keep going because we want more people to realise the dream of owning their own home.

“We won’t do that by concreting over the countryside – our plan is to build the right homes where there is the most need and where there is local support, in the heart of Britain’s great cities.”

However, speaking in the Farmer’s Guardian RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth said:

“Once again rural has been overlooked in Government policy. 

"We were concerned to see the Prime Minister state that: ‘We won't do that by concreting over the countryside - our plan is to build the right homes where there is the most need and where there is local support, in the heart of Britain's great cities...' What about our rural communities?"

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove unveiled new measures to ‘unblock the planning system and build more homes in the right places where there is local consent.’  Mr Gove echoed Mr Sunak’s words:

“Most people agree that we need to build more homes – the question is how we go about it.

“Rather than concreting over the countryside, we have set out a plan today to build the right homes in the right places where there is community support – and we’re putting the resources behind it to help make this vision a reality.

“At the heart of this is making sure that we build beautiful and empower communities to have a say in the development in their area.”

The announcements also included the creation of a new body, the Office for Place.  It aims to ‘lead a design revolution and ensure local people have a say in how housing is designed.’  Furthermore, a consultation on reforming local plans was also revealed with an aim of making them ‘simpler, shorter and more visual, showing clearly what is planned in local areas so communities can engage.’  Find out more about this here.

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