"A chronic shortage of affordable housing" is forcing "unprecedented" numbers of village pubs and shops to close, an alliance of the National Housing Federation (NHF), the British Beer and Pub Association and the Rural Shops Alliance have warned.
They calculate that 650 village pubs and 400 shops will close in the next twelve months.
The reason for this? Wealthy commuters and second-home owners are out-pricing locals, the mainstay of local trade. People whose families were born, lived and died in these villages for hundreds of years can no longer afford to buy homes in them.
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: "If the local pub and shop disappear from a village, it rips the heart out of community life.
"Many villages are now in real danger of losing their unique identity. They are becoming holiday zones preserved for tourists and second home owners, which close down for business in the winter."
The NHF estimates about 100,000 new affordable homes need to be built in England alone to meet demand in rural areas over the next ten years.
That’s all well and good, but who’s to say that there isn’t 100,000 wealthy commuters and wannabe second homers out there waiting for these new homes to be built!