Norfolk/Suffolk: Thousands Of People Moving Out Of Rural Areas

19 June 2013, 06:00

As many as 16% of 30-44 year-old's have moved out of our rural areas in the last decade.

North Norfolk's the worst area but Breckland and Suffolk Coastal are also named in the report by the National Housing Federation.

They say the fall is directly linked the rise in house prices.

In North Norfolk 16% of the people aged between 30 and 44 have left in the last 10 years.  In Suffolk Coastal 11% have gone and in Breckland the number's down 6%.

Claire Astbury, East of England lead manager at the National Housing Federation, says:

“Young people are being priced out of the rural East of England by rising housing costs and are moving elsewhere to raise their families.

“What will happen to the local shops and pubs, the village school, the small businesses that maintain rural economies, if there’s no-one left to keep them open?

“If we don’t start building more homes that ordinary families can afford, our treasured eastern countryside will become the preserve of the old and wealthy.

“It’s up to all of us to halt this rural decline. Tell your local councillor to say yes to village life and yes to homes.”

Breckland District Council told Heart:

"Breckland manages a register of housing in the district with affordable rents. Properties on this housing register are principally social housing, with some private properties.
"When Breckland determines what priority an application for housing is given, the length of time that a person has lived in the district is one of the most important factors to be considered. The Breckland Allocations Policy gives preference to applicants who have lived in the district for the previous 3 years, or have lived in Breckland for 3 of the last 5 years. Other circumstances such as income and personal circumstances are taken into account. For example, young people leaving care at the age 18 years are given a high priority, providing they have been in touch with Breckland in the previous 6 months.
"Breckland is aware that young people can have particular housing problems, and has a Housing Options Officer with specialist knowledge of young persons housing issues."