Chapter

The rural housing question

Madhu Satsangi, Nick Gallent and Mark Bevan

in The rural housing question

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423856
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303985 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423856.003.0001
The rural housing question

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This book focuses on housing in rural Britain. It specifically discusses the countrysides of England, Scotland and Wales. It focuses on what can broadly be described as the ‘rural housing question’. While there are many questions attached to rural housing question, this book aims to identify the ties that bind all the questions on rural housing. It aims to arrive at a defining question that elucidates why for decades the governments have struggled with yet failed to provide enough and adequate answers to the most basic questions of who and what the countryside is for. In addition to providing an overview of the current status of rural housing in Britain and the countrysides of Britain, this introductory chapter also outlines the discussions to be expected in the succeeding section. The first section (comprising Chapters 1 to 5) develops the arguments introduced in this chapter. It begins by expanding the initial analysis of how society in England, Scotland and Wales thinks about the countryside, which itself determines what and who the countryside is for. It builds an argument and tracks the evolving debate on the nature of the countryside in different parts of Britain, the modern relevance of the adjective ‘rural’ and the nature of the rural economy. The second section discusses the demographic questions such as population movement in the countryside, retirement, and the issues concerning second and holiday homes. The third section focuses on supply questions such as planning, land, and house-building. It also discusses the specific supply initiatives aimed at targeting affordable housing provision and meeting local needs. The fourth section discusses the ways in which the ‘fundamental block’ on rural development and rural housing question might be overcome. It places Britain within the European context and compares the country to the neighbouring European countries whose understanding and treatment of the countryside bears little or no resemblance to the British experience.

Keywords: housing; Britain; Europe; rural housing question; rural economy; population movement; retirement; planning

Chapter.  3031 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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