Cambridgeshire delivering on rural exception sites

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) has published a new report looking at the potential role of ‘Entry level exception sites’ in delivering affordable homes in rural communities. Entry level exception sites are a new proposal in the draft NPPF currently being consulted on.

24th Sept 2015: Sanctuary Housing – Lucy Frazer MP visits the recently completed rural development in Haddenham.

The report also looks at the limitations and opportunities associated with traditional rural exception sites. Of particular interest to this area is the finding that five Local Authorities delivered 45% of all affordable housing on rural exception sites in England between 2011 and 2017. And Cambridgeshire delivered 424 of these homes making it the third largest deliverer in England!


The Rural HAPPI Inquiry

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People has produced its fourth report with a focus on meeting the housing and care needs of older people in rural areas. The report makes a number of recommendations targeted at a wide range of policy makers and stakeholders.

The overarching conclusion is that

‘...despite government commitments to increase housebuilding nationally, special measures will be needed to secure homes suitable for older people – increasingly representing the majority of residents – living in rural communities.

The report can be read here

53 affordable homes built for local people in rural communities in 2017/18

The Cambridgeshire Rural Affordable Housing Partnership achieved another successful year in 2017/18. Three rural exception sites including 53 affordable homes and three enabling market homes achieved a start on site. Cross Keys Homes began schemes in Offord D’Arcy (HDC) and Willingham (SCDC) and Hastoe began in Burwell (ECDC).

Frustratingly, a number of schemes did slip past the March 2018 deadline but the pipeline remains strong and a number of schemes are expected to achieve a start on site in the first half of 2018/19.

ACRE updates Position Paper on Rural Housing

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is the national voice for the 38 ACRE Network members, including Cambridgeshire ACRE, who make up the country’s largest rural network. It has published an updated Rural Housing Position Paper. This sets out the top four priorities for action by Government and national policy makers, highlights some of the evidence supporting the need for more rural affordable housing and explains the role that ACRE and its members currently play within the agenda.

You can download the report: Housing Position Paper Final A4 Pages (no case studies). A series of case studies will follow.

Rural Affordable Housing on Rural Exception Sites: A Hands-On Guide For Landowners

Rural Housing Solutions and Strutt & Parker have published ‘A Hands-On Guide For Landowners’  which explains the options open to them in delivering affordable homes on their land. The guide is structured to mirror the stages of developing a rural affordable housing scheme on a rural exception site.


The guide is available on line and provides hyperlinks to a range of additional information so it can be kept up to date. These include FAQ sections, good practice and key contacts.

Myth Buster Tour 2017 a great success


The sun came out for our annual Myth Buster Tour. Timed to coincide with Rural Housing Week, our tour of completed, part-built and still to be built sites gave parish and district councillors a real insight into rural exception sites. Housing Association and District Council officers were on hand to address any questions and provide further background on the schemes visited.

In total,  24 councillors and accompanying staff participated. Feedback was excellent and plans are already in hand for our 2018 tour. For those unable to make the tour you can get a flavour of what you missed by reading the programme_brochure_final