Rural Exception Sites

Over the years, Daventry District Council has helped deliver a number of rural exception schemes in local villages. The schemes tend to be small scale and a mixture of social rented and shared ownership properties.  Evidence of local housing need helps to decide how many and what kind of homes to build. More recently policies have allowed for an element of local market housing to cross subsidise the affordable housing element. 


Rural exception schemes are useful to help to rebalance communities, keeping families together whilst providing a boost for local services, sustaining schools and providing options for older people to downsize their home when needed. Homes provided are affordable and priority is given to local people now and in the future.


Exception sites are only intended to provide affordable housing sites in smaller rural settlements of less than 3,000 people and are developed on land adjacent to or in settlements that would not otherwise be permitted for development. 

Our Housing SPD contains more information about the development of rural exception sites

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Rural Exceptions Sites: A step-by-step guide

Step 1 – Identify a Need 

This need will usually be identified through a housing needs survey. The survey will be carried out by Daventry District Council.

Anyone proposing an exceptions scheme is encouraged to talk to the Affordable Housing Officer (AHO) at the earliest opportunity. Arrangements can then be made, in appropriate circumstances to undertake the survey.  The Council will liaise with the parish council during this process. 

The survey will gather evidence from local people to establish how many residents are currently in housing need. 

The results of this survey will be included in a report which will highlight whether or not there is a need for affordable housing and local needs market housing in the parish. In respect of affordable housing it will also highlight how much residents can realistically afford to pay to purchase or rent a new home. The report will be published on the Councils website. 

You can find a list of existing Housing Needs Surveys here  - Please note that surveys to be used to support a planning application should be no older than three years. 

Step 2 – Choose a suitable location 

Once step 1 has been completed, suitable sites for development can then be considered. Rural exception sites will be located adjacent to the village boundary, as a natural addition to the local community.

In cases where a parish council is promoting a scheme, it is encouraged to liaise with the Affordable Housing Officer (AHO) to identify potential sites to accommodate a scheme.  The AHO will liaise with the Council’s  planners to identify the likelihood of planning permission being granted on shortlisted sites.

Where landowners are promoting a scheme, they are encouraged to liaise with the AHO and submit a formal pre-application request for advice regarding the likelihood of planning permission being granted.

Step 3 – Plan and design the properties 

The Parish Council will be consulted on the design and layout of any plans submitted.


Step 4 – Seek Planning Permission 

Planning permission will be applied for once steps 1, 2 and 3 have been completed. 

If permission is granted it will be subject to a legal agreement which will set out how the properties will be nominated to.  Details of this are set out in the Housing SPD


Step 5 – Construct and allocate properties 

If planning permission is granted, development of the properties can begin. 

Bids will be invited from residents on the Council’s housing register, and houses allocated in line with the legal agreement. This should ensure the local need for affordable housing identified at the beginning of the process is met.

Potential rural exception sites

We would urge you to bring forward sites in your village that the community and Parish are keen to see developed as affordable housing for local people; 


If you have any questions about exception sites or have land that you would like us to consider you can either register your land online or contact the Affordable Housing Officer on 01327 302535. 

To find out more about Rural Exception Sites please see the guide to the right (or below on mobile devices).