A housing first

This article is 18 years old


Published on 1 November 2005
Archived on 1 December 2005

South Warwickshire is leading the way with an innovative approach to house planning in rural villages. A new initiative called Local Choice turns the conventional approach to planning on its head, by letting local communities address their own housing development needs, particularly affordable housing.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has adopted the radical approach which puts local communities firmly in the driving seat of development, thereby tackling 'NIMBYISM' head-on and the perception that all new development is bad. The first two developments in the Stratford District, and the first such in Warwickshire, have just been finished at Brailes and Long Compton, the latter due to be officially opened next month.

Local Choice is a new initiative for developments to meet local needs and forms part of the national planning guidance for councils. It is believed that Stratford District Council is the first in the country to have completed housing developments under this scheme.

"Local Choice can be regarded as a 'self-help' tool for communities," said Cllr Gillian Roache, the portfolio holder for living in the district.

"It was introduced to try and tackle the lack of affordable housing for local people in rural areas of our district, as a result of increasingly restrictive policies on housing, which severely limit new housing development outside the main town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

"However, Stratford District Council recognised its rural communities needed some controlled development to keep those communities viable, and Local Choice allows small-scale housing, particularly affordable housing, identified by a local communities, usually through their parish plans.

"The District Council is still responsible for making the decisions on planning applications, but we will normally reflect the views of the housing needs survey in the relevant adopted parish plan."


Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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