5 July 2002

House price peak – easier planning?

ROCKETING house prices in the county may lead to a more lenient approach by some council planning departments, according to the Country Land and Business Association.

Yorkshires regional director, Dorothy Fairburn, says some farmers may now be granted planning permission to develop their land for housing because there is a lack of affordable homes in the countryside.

"Landowners should consider the possibility of providing small building plots at lower prices. They are particularly in demand on the edge of villages where there is a proven need for more homes for people on average or below average incomes," she says.

But she points out that the CLA is not expecting farmers to give their land away.

"That would be unrealistic, especially as agriculture is having such a bad time financially. However it is possible for the owner to sell below the market development price but above farmland value," she said.

"Building plots as small as one third of an acre can be used for affordable housing. The sites can be developed and managed by housing associations. The properties would then be rented out to tenants who have no right to buy the freehold. That way, landowners will not see other people profiting from their generosity." &#42