West Berkshire Council

Rural Affordable Housing

Rural exception sites - affordable housing developments in rural communities

We believe 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.

Preference is given in the first instance, to people with a strong local connection to where the homes are being built.

Local connection means you:

  • are ordinarily a resident in the parish or previously lived in the parish and have strong family connections
  • need to live in the village due to your employment
  • need to live within the village either to support or be supported by a family member
  • the site is restricted for occupation by households with a member in housing need

We provide funding for Community Council for Berkshire (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.

Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire Council's Housing Development Team

(01635) 551111