New Rural Affordable Housing (Information for Private Developers)

This page is about affordable rural housing development in Mid Sussex.

Rural exception sites

While some affordable housing is delivered in rural parts of the district on developer led schemes it can be more challenging to provide new affordable housing in rural areas, especially the smaller villages and areas where there is a high housing need. Mid Sussex District Council works with parish councils to develop small 100% affordable housing schemes called rural exception sites.

Rural exception sites are for people with a local connection to the parish and remain for local people forever. They are located just outside the village boundary where housing would not be granted planning permission. There has to be a proven local housing need to justify this development. This can be evidenced through a rural housing needs survey and information from the Common Housing Register. Rural exception sites are developed in partnership between the District Council, Parish councils, Action in Rural Sussex and a specialist rural housing association.

A rural exception site can make a big difference to a parish. It not only meets the housing need of local people but it can help to maintain the viability of local services and amenities such as shops, post offices, pubs and schools. It can also help to maintain the social balance and social networks within the village.

We work with specific housing associations to develop rural exception sites as they have experience of working in close partnership with parish councils and with communities:

Community Land Trusts

Community Land Trusts are not for profit organisations that buy land and keep its value for the benefit of the local community. This means that affordable housing can be built on it, which can be either to rent or to buy. Only the value of the buildings are bought and sold as the trust owns the land.  This helps to keep the housing affordable. Community land trusts are not just for housing, they can also be used to provide employment space, village shops etc. The Community Land Trust website has more detailed information, please also see the leaflet: Community Land Trusts In a Nutshell.

The Community Land Trust Umbrella Project based at Action in Rural Sussex offers support and advice to groups considering setting up a Community Land Trust. Please contact Tom Warder for further information - 01273 407302

Further Information

If you would like to find out more, please contact:

Helen Blackith
Housing Enabling Manager
Telephone: 01444 477232