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Comment on Defra rural action plan

5 June 2023

Commenting on Defra’s rural action plan, Roger Mortlock, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘Moves to properly understand rural deprivation are better late than never. But plans to make it easier for farmers to change their existing agricultural buildings into houses are fundamentally flawed unless they result in more affordable homes for local people.

‘After many years of funding cuts, it’s good to see extra support for rural housing enablers – who work alongside rural communities and landowners to get consent for decent, affordable homes in the countryside, helping ensure it has the backing of local people and fits into the surrounding area.

‘All rural communities are asking for is a fair share of the budget and for policies that show a genuine understanding of rural areas. While these initiatives are welcome, there’s still more to do to address the chronic underfunding of the countryside for over a decade.’