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The Rural Exception Policy
There is a special planning policy called a Rural Exception Policy, used in smaller rural parishes to help provide affordable homes for local people. If the housing survey, conducted by the Rural Housing Enabler, establishes a need, this policy allows the local planning authority to grant exceptional planning permission for a small development of homes, available in perpetuity for those parishioners who are unable to afford to buy or rent on the open market.
Most people access affordable housing through either a Choice Based Lettings register or Low Cost Home Ownership schemes. These prioritise people with the greatest level of need. Rural exception sites differ in that they prioritise local connections to a parish over level of need.
Rural exceptions schemes can only be used for affordable housing that remains for the use of the community in perpetuity. Planning conditions and legal agreements are used to restrict the occupation of property to those who can prove a local connection through family, residence or work and fall within categories of need. Protected by covenants in the Section 106 agreement, property both rented and sold as shared ownership on rural exception schemes will not be lost onto the open market and will be available in perpetuity for the villagers who meet the local connection criteria of the s106.
A local person is one who is connected to the village or parish by birth, current or previous residence, permanent employment in the parish or by the current residence of close family.
The specific criteria for establishing who has the local connection are always included in a Section 106 Planning Agreement. If there is a vacant house and no one with those connections to the village itself is in need of housing, then an applicant who has similar connections with a neighbouring village has the next priority. After that, applicants can be sought from the District as a whole. When that house becomes vacant again priority reverts to people with a close connection to the village.
RURAL EXCEPTION SCHEMES BUCKINGHAMSHIRE – 236 affordable rural homes
Kimble I 6 units English Rural HA
Hambleden 8 Units English Rural HA
Longwick 8 Units Home Group
Quainton I 8 Units Rural Housing Trust
Stewkley 18 Units Hightown Praetoria
Bledlow 5 Units English Rural HA
Lane End 12 Units English Rural HA
Tingewick I 8 Units Hastoe
Cheddington 8 Units Hastoe
Wingrave 12 Units Hastoe
Winchmore Hill 22 Units A2 Housing Solutions
Oakley 11 Units Hastoe
Waddesdon 10 Units Hastoe
Chalfont St Giles 29 Units Hastoe
Thornborough 5 Units Guinness South
Whitchurch 8 Units Hastoe
Marsh Gibbon 8 Units Hastoe
Quainton II 12 Units Guinness South
Tingewick II 8 Units Hastoe
Mursley 8 Units Hastoe
Slapton 7 Units English Rural HA
Great & Little Kimble 9 Units Hastoe
Bellingdon 6 Units Paradigm