Federation calls for radical overhaul of planning system in response to news that one rural primary school is closing every month

The Federation of Master Builders is calling for an increase in the supply of affordable rural housing after yesterday's announcement that primary schools are closing at a rate of one a month in rural England.

The news was revealed by the National Housing Federation, the National Association of Small Schools and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers,

Richard Diment, director general of the FMB, said: “The affordability crisis does not just cause schools to be closed, it has disastrous consequences for a plethora of other services, businesses and facilities that communities require, but that also require a community to serve in order to stay open.”

Diment added that the planning system needed a radical overhaul to make it faster and more responsive to local housing needs.

He said this would incentivise local authorities to deliver more affordable housing directly.

“Unless this happens,” Diment added, “we will continue to perpetuate the ridiculous state of affairs we have now where perfectly good infrastructure is mothballed or demolished because lack of affordability robs them of a community to serve, only to make new housing more expensive because it has to contribute to covering the cost of the new infrastructure required to replace what has been lost."