21 June 2002

Plea to planners over housing policy

PLANNING authorities should take a more pragmatic outlook towards a policy that allows the construction of affordable housing in the countryside, says the Country Land and Business Association.

The organisations regional surveyor in the West Midlands, Andrew Shirley, said: "With house prices soaring it has become increasingly difficult for many people to live in our villages which is not good for the long-term health of such communities."

But, he noted, there is an "exceptional site" policy which permits development which would not usually be allowed when a need can be proven.

Mr Shirley is hoping more landowners with potential sites on the outskirts of villages will consider providing plots for new low-cost accommodation. &#42