"Under reforms expected to be unveiled this month, councils will be told to:
-earmark new building sites in every village and hamlet where affordable housing is needed
-use sweeping powers to overrule normal planning curbs in protected areas
-provide incentives for farmers to sell land to developers
-create a generation of new communities on the outskirts of market towns, similar to Poundbury, the Prince of Wales's "model village".
The changes are aimed at helping the government to achieve its target of building 3m new homes by 2020. All the main political parties agree that the extra housing is needed, although the building programme is likely to be delayed by the recession.
About 16,000 small towns, villages and hamlets across England, and dozens of market towns, could be affected by what is being described by ministers as a 'fundamental shake-up' of rural planning policy. "