Local communities set to benefit from rural planning funding

Winchester City Council and East Hants District Council have jointly secured £15,000 worth of Communities and Local Government (CLG) Rural Funding to help towards planning for new homes across the districts.

After assessing submissions from councils across the country, Housing Minister John Healey and Rural Affairs Minister Lord Davies announced 36 rural councils to share £1m of funding to plan for new homes in their communities. The majority of the homes will be affordable for local people, giving a boost to rural businesses and helping village schools, shops and pubs to stay open.

The £1m fund, jointly provided by Communities and Local Government and Defra, will go towards providing expert assistance and training on masterplanning and urban design. It's the first time that rural councils have received dedicated funding to help design and plan new development that will support the local needs of rural communities.

Steve Opacic, Head of Strategic Planning at Winchester City Council, said: “This money will help with the Councils' work on their Local Development Frameworks and ensure that we plan for the right type and number of new homes to help maintain local services and benefit both Districts' rural communities.”

Councils who secured funding will be able to share best practice with other rural regions of the country, building capacity and skills that will bring high-quality rural development across the country.