National Housing Federation expresses concern over proposal to require 90% local support for new rural homes

The National Housing Federation warned today that the Tories' plan to get 90% of local people to support new homes in rural areas could hand a veto to local Nimbys.

It expressed its support for the Conservative's proposal to create local housing trusts with planning powers to develop affordable village homes. However, it feared the requisite for such a high percentage of community support would prevent building from going ahead.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation (NHF), said: “There will always be some people who oppose the idea of building any new homes and if the threshold for a vote in favour of new affordable housing is set as high as 90% then we believe that small groups of local Nimbys will virtually always be able to block the proposals.”

A recent opinion poll of 800 rural dwellers across England, conducted on behalf of the NHF, found that only 4% agreed with the 90% threshold. Over half of people said that 50% to 70% was sufficient for new homes to get the go-ahead.

The growing rural housing crisis has left a record number of 750,000 people on waiting lists for affordable housing in villages and market towns.

Grant Shapps, Tory shadow housing minister, is due to discuss local housing trusts during a keynote speech this evening in St Minver in Cornwall.