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Affordable rural housing must be delivered in Wales

March 17, 2016 4:20 PM

Housing in CountrysideWilliam Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales, has highlighted the urgent need to tackle the severe shortage of affordable housing in rural communities. Existing planning guidance has the potential to achieve real progress in the delivery of affordable housing in rural Wales, but has so far not been fully utilised.

Speaking on the subject of affordable housing, William Powell said:

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats are the only party to pledge to build over 20,000 affordable homes over the next Assembly. We believe that that every person should be able to provide a secure environment for their family

"Existing planning guidance in the form of Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN 6) on 'Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities' has the potential to make real progress in the delivery of affordable rural housing in Wales. Since its introduction however, implementation of it has been disappointing, particularly in the take-up level with local authorities.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a full review of TAN 6 guidance in order to address some of these issues and enable more affordable housing in rural areas to be created. This would have important benefits not only for young people living in rural areas, but also for the farming industry in Wales. This was a key ask of YFC Cymru at their Assembly Election Manifesto launch just last Thursday.''

Responding to a question from William Powell on TAN 6 at last week's Assembly Enterprise Committee, Ross Murray, Chair of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Wales commented:

"The aims of TAN 6 are really excellent, and I think there are some very important social considerations behind it, and one is retirement and progression within farming families… The disappointment has been the response of planning authorities around Wales to actually accept the spirit of TAN 6 and to allow more on farm dwellings to be built. It probably needs a statistical review. It's apocryphal at the moment; one just hears how disappointing the take-up of TAN 6 consented dwellings has been."