LANDOWNERS and local planners hold the key to ending the rural housing crisis, says the CLA.

Nearly two-thirds of rural landowners would build new homes to rent or buy if they had more confidence in the attitudes and processes of local planning authorities, according to new research by the body which represents 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses in England and Wales.

The CLA has revealed that half of members surveyed believe there is a housing crisis in their community, but many are put off developing schemes by a planning system that is perceived to be too complex, risky and inflexible.

More than two-fifths of CLA members say they plan to develop one or two additional properties in the next five years, but almost two-thirds said they would build more new homes if there was greater support from the local authority to work through the planning process.

The organisation says giving these small, private developers greater certainty and support to navigate the planning system could all but end the acute shortage of housing in rural areas.

CLA North director Dorothy Fairburn said: "Providing more affordable housing is an excellent way to sustain rural communities for future generations, and it ensures that people have the opportunity to live and work in the countryside."

She added: "We call on local authorities to support landowners by simplifying the planning system, making it easier for them in helping to fill the gap in affordable rural housing.”

The research was unveiled at the CLA’s first ever Housing Summit on July 5.