Plans for growth

Sustainable rural economies

We work hard to secure rural communities that are sustainable, vibrant and thriving. Here are some practical sources of advice and guidance to help strengthen our village economies and make them more sustainable.

  • Re-use of rural buildings
    We have introduced new planning policies for the re-use of rural buildings for appropriate business uses subject to new tests.
  • Village Design Statements
    Village Design Statements (VDS) are an important tool for use in helping to protect the character of villages in terms of sensitive design. Please see the Village Design Statements currently being undertaken. Please also see the Heritage Library conservation area based Village Design Statements.
  • Supplementary planning guidance
    We have a range of Supplementary planning guidance for development in rural areas. They are a practical tool to help influence decisions on design and development.
  • Rural services network
    We’re a member of the Rural Services Network, which aims to champion the interests of local authorities that provide services in rural parts of England. It also provides a forum for the exchange of best practice. In September 2009 we submitted a contribution to the Network in its preparation of a manifesto for rural areas prior to the 2010 General Election.

Other agencies supporting rural businesses

A number of agencies provide advice geared to meet the needs of existing rural businesses or those companies wishing to locate in a rural area: