West Berkshire Council

Rural Housing

Rural exception sites - affordable housing developments in rural communities

West Berkshire Council believes that people who are living in, or connected to, rural parishes shouldn't be forced to move away from the villages where they live and work due to a lack of affordable housing.

Rural exception sites are small housing developments which are not restricted by the usual planning constraints. They are small sites (usually 12 dwellings or less) which are developed for people with a connection to the parish in which they are built. The need for these developments is identified by a local housing needs survey which provides the information about how many properties will be built and how big each property will be.

The Community Council for Berkshire (CCB) , which is independent of West Berkshire Council, employees a Rural Housing Enabler who acts as the point of contact for these enquiries.

West Berkshire Council provides funding for the CCB to carry out local housing needs surveys and work with parish councils to identify suitable locations for rural exception sites. The CCB also identifies suitable partners, usually housing associations, to develop and manage sites once they are built.

If you are interested in living in a rural exception site in your parish, please register on the West Berkshire Common Housing Register.

Should you wish to see a rural exception site happen in your Parish or have a piece of land which you may think maybe suitable for a rural exception site, please contact the Rural Housing Enabler at the CCB.