HC Deb 04 March 2002 vol 381 cc82-3W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the operation of the rural exception sites policy. [37466]

Ms Keeble

[holding answer 26 February 2002]: National policy on rural exception sites is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing and my Department's circular 06/98: Planning and Affordable Housing. It allows local planning authorities to adopt rural exception policies for the release of sites for small-scale residential development within or adjoining existing villages where planning permission would not otherwise be given. Under the rural exception policy an authority must be satisfied that any application to build housing would meet a local need not being achieved through existing plan policies, and that it could remain as affordable housing to meet local needs in perpetuity.