The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has blamed developers playing the planning system as many local authorities continue to fall ‘woefully short’ of affordable home targets. Research published by the group claims the proportion of affordable homes being provided by local authorities covering rural areas has halved in the last five years, from 35% in 2011/12 to 16% in 2015/16. The CPRE also claims just five of the 15 most unaffordable districts outside London have met their most recent targets for affordable homes. It cites the example of Epping Forest, which has an affordable housing target of 40%, but in the past five years, just 14% of new homes built in the borough have been classed as affordable. ‘As just 8% of rural housing is affordable, much of the countryside is already out of reach to those on average incomes,’ said CPRE planning campaign manager, Paul Miner. ‘If we … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

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Jamie Hailstone is senior reporter – NewStart