The rural population has increased by 800,000 over the past ten years. Government forecasts predict that that the rural population will grow by 16% by 2028 compared to 9% in urban areas.
More homes are needed just to maintain the existing rural population in villages as a consequence of the reduction in household size. Yet housebuilding in rural areas has been restricted for many years.
Despite the evidence of need, development can attract resistance from existing residents. There are many reasons for this; new housing often means bland housing estates of standardised house designs and with minimum space standards, out of place with the local vernacular and context.