Skip to main content


Rural Housing Guide

A significant hurdle to the development of affordable rural housing can be limited local infrastructure; water supplies, sewerage + drainage, and roads + transport.

In many rural communities current sewerage provision is inadequate or at full capacity restricting possible development until new infrastructure is built. The small scale of much rural development cannot bear the additional costs associated with infrastructure improvements leading to many promising housing developments being abandoned.

It is essential to check with Scottish Water, SEPA and the local council to determine whether there is capacity in the local drainage system before embarking on a new project. If there is limited capacity it is worthwhile exploring with SEPA the potential of using individual and communal septic tanks as possible ways round blockages.

Limited road infrastructure can also effect the viability of affordable housing development; preferred sites may have restricted sightlines, further development may be considered too much for a single track road and proposed new development may require new roads, street lighting and pavements even in areas where these are generally absent making the cost of the development untenable. It is worth discussing the requirement for these elements with the planning and roads departments of the local authority as it may be that more limited and appropriate arrangements are possible.

Where infrastructure constraints effect the ability to provide new housing it can be worthwhile examining the potential of empty property to meet local housing needs.