Affordable housing and rural exception sites

How affordable housing is delivered in South Staffordshire.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing provides a home to those that are unable to afford to buy or rent a property on the open market. It can take many forms including: 

  • Social or affordable rent 
  • Affordable home ownership, such as shared ownership, where the buyer purchases a share of the equity and then pays rent on the rest 
  • Discounted private housing, such as First Homes which are available to first time buyers at a 30% discount. 

Why do we need affordable housing in South Staffordshire?

House prices in the district are high, making it difficult for young families, couples and single people to afford a house on the open market in their local area. Ensuring residents have the means to remain in their local area means rural communities continue to thrive and local services prosper. 

In some cases, development of affordable housing will also enable older people to downsize or find a property that is better suited to them, but still remain in their local area. This then also frees up existing housing stock in the area for larger families. 

How is affordable housing delivered in South Staffordshire?

Most affordable housing comes through new development, where the housebuilder is required to provide a proportion of homes as affordable. 

Another way of meeting the housing need in our villages, whilst protecting the rural environment our residents value, is through the development of rural exception sites  

What is a Rural Exception Site?

A Rural Exception Site is a small parcel of land used for 100% affordable housing, in a location that would not normally be acceptable for housing development.

In South Staffordshire, this would usually be in the green belt or open countryside. 

Permission for this type of development is only granted where there is a proven need locally for affordable housing.

The homes are reserved for local people and kept as affordable in perpetuity.  

How do Rural Exception Sites happen?

Development on a rural exception site will usually be carried out by a housing association, after consultation with the parish council, district council and the local community. 


Careful planning and preparation ensures the development is sustainable, in keeping with the village, and provides housing which is appropriate in size and price to meet local need. 

Data protection

The Strategic Planning Team manages and maintains a register of persons who have an interest in local planning documents (Local Plan Database); those who wish to register their interest or land for future development on our Self and Custom Build Register and/or Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA); those who have commented on emerging Council strategy documents; and information regarding historic home improvement grants and empty properties.

In order to do this in an effective way we will need to collect and use personal information about you.

For more information about how we process this data see Strategic Planning Team - Data Protection.

Was this page useful?

A-Z of services