Rural Lettings Policy

Local residents now have priority in rural parts of South Somerset thanks to a new Rural Lettings Policy, approved by the District Council in April 2015. Vacancies in parishes with low housing stock will initially go to applicants with a local connection.

New families are finding it increasingly difficult to remain in their village because of the cost of home ownership and the lack of affordable housing, and often have to move away from their support networks to urban centres if they want a new home.


The new policy applies the principle of the 'doughnut ring', as is often used in rural exceptions schemes: if there are no applicants with a local connection to the parish in question, the next priority will be to applicants with a connection to any immediately neighbouring parish. The policy will affect every vacancy in parishes with the fewest properties, and 50% of vacancies in parishes with slightly higher stock levels, allowing the policy to benefit more areas of the district without adversely affecting the council's statutory obligations.


It is hoped that this policy will strengthen community cohesion and help to reduce the negative effects of the housing shortage in those rural areas where it is felt most keenly.


Read the Rural Lettings Policy.