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.

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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