People make communities. And vibrant communities undoubtedly make better places to live. But without affordable housing, rural communities are at risk of losing people who live and work there, who sustain local services, and who volunteer their time to help others. In the long run, this will lead to a countryside characterised by exclusive, ageing, and lifeless settlements.
There is an urgent need to secure a change of government policy to one that encourages and supports rural communities to embrace growth and secure the homes people need locally, especially for younger generations who often have no choice but to move away.
New homes must also strike a balance between retaining the unique character of rural places whilst being fit for the future. With enormous environmental challenges ahead, these homes must be well insulated and make the most of low carbon technologies wherever possible to contribute to carbon net zero efforts.