Housing and sustainable rural communities

Authored by: Nick Gallent , Mark Scott

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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Rural housing has been one of the principal concerns of planning and policy analysis in the countryside for more than a century. This chapter shines a light on housing inequalities and the challenges around sustainable rural communities. It reviews housing supply and demand pressures, distinguishing between the ‘effective’ demand expressed by adventitious middle-class counter-urbanisers and the access difficulties encountered by groups unable to compete in the over-heating housing markets of some rural areas. The chapter then moves on to explore specific policies aimed at tackling access inequality, through the introduction of occupancy restrictions in a case in the southwest of England and ‘local need’ policies in the Republic of Ireland. It concludes by pointing to the diverse socio-economic circumstances cross different rural areas, which generate acute housing stress and gentrification in some areas but depopulation and abandonment elsewhere.

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