“It is unfair to expect that people who have lived in an area all their lives should move into more urban areas for the convenience of planners rather than themselves.”

Cheryl Tyler, Community Voices on Planning

The latest HAPPI report released – Rural Housing for an Ageing Population: Preserving Independence

We welcome the release of the latest HAPPI report, which focuses on the need to provide small-scale development for older people within rural villages and not just large-scale development in towns and cities. In the near future, the report states, those over 65 will represent a majority in rural communities and – because of higher costs and absence of economies of scale – the market will not meet the needs of those already living in those areas.

What can Living Space contribute?

It is clear from talking to our own clients that many of them would like to stay within their current communities although their existing homes are not suitable for their current or ongoing needs.We relish the opportunity of offering a creative response to the findings of this report and urge all to read it.

We are particularly pleased that the report recommends the Lifetime homes standards are re-introduced and that it requests an amendment to planing policy to encourage more affordable homes to be built in rural areas.

Recent changes to permitted development rights may be important here too, providing rural communities with more options for the conversion of agricultural buildings into residential dwellings. As of March 2018, the maximum number of new homes allowed to be created from an existing agricultural building changed from three to five. This could mean an obvious option for the creation of new homes for older people in rural areas.

You can access the HAPPI report here.