Increasingly those working locally (i.e. in rural areas) can no longer afford to live in these communities and those living there have limited opportunities to work locally. In time, such communities will become increasingly unsustainable in every sense. The Taylor Review
Less economically sustainable Lack of affordable housing undermines labour market supply as employees are unable to afford to live locally and so increasingly unable to work locally which may impact on the viability of local shops, services and businesses. The Taylor Review
Less socially sustainable Social and economic polarisation – where smaller rural communities are increasingly the preserve of the wealthy or retired, excluding poorer and younger people. The loss of rural enterprise, shops and services can compound pressure on vulnerable groups (lower income, immobile, elderly) to move out. The Taylor Review
Less environmentally sustainable A greater degree of reverse commuting by workers employed in rural enterprises who are forced to live elsewhere as a result of their inability to buy or rent locally, whilst those who live in the village commute into town for better paid work. The Taylor Review
In summary, dormitory and retired communities with few local services or employment opportunities cannot provide a sustainable future for the countryside. The Taylor Review
Rural Hampshire 85% of Hampshire is rural 10% of jobs in Hampshire are rural 90% of the rural jobs are not land based £4bn generated by rural business in Hampshire
The Worth Report Sponsored by the HEP Focused on rural communities in Hampshire
The Worth Report - conclusions The law of “unintended consequences” The presumption in favour of conserving the environment ( “the precautionary principle”) is threatening the sustainability of communities
The Worth Report - conclusions General Closure of pubs Closure of post offices Closure of village shops Rat runs Dormitory villages
The Worth Report - conclusions Specific Smiths Gore Farringdon Business Park Roke Manor Research Andrew Smith’s auction rooms Vitacress
The Vitacress Experience Applied to build new watercress beds in Dorset. Interested parties expressed environmental concerns. 6 years and £100,000 produced the scientific evidence to confirm concerns were unfounded. Vitacress built the watercress beds in Portugal!
The Worth Report - recommendations Encourage more positive policies towards rural business development Provide planners with the ability, using Government Planning Guidance, to weigh the economic benefits of development against any environmental impact Train planning officers in rural issues Apply regulations even-handedly by not demanding more onerous standards from rural businesses than those in urban locations
The NPPF The presumption in favour of sustainable development A new tool : “Neighbourhood planning”
The NPPF – principles Neighbourhood Plans Business 160. Local planning authorities should have a clear understanding of business needs. To achieve this, they should: Work together with county and neighbouring authorities and with Local Enterprise Partnerships and Work closely with the business community to understand their changing needs and identify and address barriers to investment, including a lack of housing, infrastructure or viability.
The NPPF – Action Businesses must get to know their parish, district and county councils; their community groups and community leaders. Don’t wait for an invitation, get out and talk
Conclusion For rural communities to thrive, they need rural businesses to thrive.