The Rural Housing Strategy produced in 2011 provides a detailed route-map for the delivery of the housing to realise the Vision for the Rural Area.

The Rural areas of Cheshire West and Chester house approximately 40% of the Borough’s population. This population and in particular the number of households is set to increase in the future according to the latest ONS Household projections and when the ambitions of the Council to ‘unleash the economic potential’ of the whole Borough are considered.

Looking at the housing characteristics of the rural area as a whole it is clear that a common set of core issues exist which serve to define the operation of markets at a settlement and neighbourhood level:

  • high demand for all tenures of housing demonstrated in notably high average house prices and a significant backlog of households in need on waiting lists;
  • a significant shortage of affordable housing to meet local need;
  • a stock profile which is skewed towards larger properties;
  • a limited amount of housing land currently identified through the planning process and emerging evidence base (Draft SHLAA); and
  • a demographic structure which includes an above average proportion of older person households, many of which currently under-occupy current properties which have the potential to house larger families;

Cheshire West and Chester’s Rural Housing team have the following strategic objectives:

  • Revitalise communities by enabling growth
  • Delivering housing to meet specific needs

The Rural Regeneration Board have successfully run two Rural Housing Symposiums engaging with local communities to gain “up to date information on Housing Need in the Rural Areas”. This information has been used by various organisations supporting Neighbourhood Plans through to working with housing developers in the borough.