Avoiding the Sustainability Trap and the loss of facilities and services

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.

Restrictive planning policies have threatened or led to the loss of services and facilities, such as primary schools and post offices, and led to a shortage of housing for younger residents seeking to get onto the housing ladder and older residents wanting to downsize and stay in the village. The Taylor Report (Living and Working Countryside 2008) calls this the ‘sustainability trap’.