Focus on rural housing

Affordable housing is essential to the sustainability of rural communities. It ensures people can afford to stay and work in their local area, which supports the rural economy. For example, research by the National Housing Federation shows that building just 10 affordable homes in a rural area generates £1.4m for the economy and supports an average of 26 jobs in the area. Providing additional housing that is safe, energy efficient and genuinely affordable to local residents is therefore a key priority in Derbyshire Dales.

However, building new affordable homes in rural areas is extremely challenging. Complex planning law, a shortage of investment and a scarcity of available land, lead to limited development in rural areas. These barriers combine to restrict housing supply for rural communities, which threatens their long-term sustainability.

Despite these barriers we have had many successes over the years and have more potential developments ‘in the pipeline’. One example of this was a development in Youlgrave, built in 2015.

An example of rural development – Hannah Bowman Way, Youlgrave

hannah bowman way youlgrave 2

  • 2006 - A village action plan group consultation identified that a key priority for Youlgrave was affordable housing for local families. The council was contacted with a request to carry out a Housing Needs Survey.
  • 2007 – A Housing Needs Survey was undertaken which identified a need for 8 affordable homes.
  • 2015 – 8 properties were built and let to residents with a local connection to Youlgrave (6 x social rent and 2 x shared ownership which consisted of 2 bed bungalows, 2 x 2 bed houses, 4 x 3 bed houses). These properties are all managed by Peak District Rural Housing Association.
  • Further development relating to this scheme, termed phase 2 at Hannah Bowman Way, is being planned following another Housing Needs Survey that was undertaken in 2020.

See other examples of Rural affordable housing schemes in Derbyshire Dales.

Want to know more? Or are you a landowner who owns some land you think might be suitable for affordable housing? We’d love to hear from you.

Please contact Jeremy Mason, Rural Housing Enabler for Derbyshire Dales District Council on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel. 01629 761256.

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