Land needed for affordable housing

PUBLISHED: 15:43 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 18 March 2019

Colyton rooftops - more affordable homes are needed . Picture Barrie Hedges

Colyton rooftops - more affordable homes are needed . Picture Barrie Hedges

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Search begins for sites in Colyton and Colyford on which to build low cost homes

Community Land TrustCommunity Land Trust

Colyton and Colyford Community Land Trust has issued an appeal for sites on which to build affordable housing for local people.

A survey in 2017 revealed a need for some 36 low cost homes in the combined parish over the following five years.

Homes England’s current planning application for 74 homes on the former CeramTec site could, if permitted, provide 22 affordable properties.

However, while the Community Land Trust (CLT) has met Homes England to explore options for it to take on the long-term ownership of the affordable element, the planning application has yet to be determined.

And, if permitted, CLT says it may deliver fewer residential properties than originally proposed. The Trust is also aware that this site alone, however developed, would not fully satisfy the demand identified.

CLT members believe it is important to identify at least one other site and they are undertaking a sifting process of available areas to assess their potential to deliver an affordable housing scheme.

CLT Chairman, Dr Charles Hill, has promised complete confidentiality - within the board of directors - through the exploratory stages.

He said: “We would like to hear from anyone who has a potentially suitable site or who knows of one that might be available.

“We would be happy to meet with land owners to explain our ambitions, consider the development potential of each site and provide an indication of what might be offered in order to acquire it.

“The next stage would be for us to come up with heads of terms for consideration. These would simply set out the principles and conditions under which any transaction would be carried out between the parties. The parties in this case would be the land owner, the CLT and its housing association partner.

“We would obviously need to consult the community. If the response proved to be positive regarding the proposition to acquire a given site, we would undertake feasibility work and prepare a planning application. Payment would be made once planning consent was obtained.”

Anyone who has a suitable site or is aware of one they would like to suggest is asked to email Dr Hill candcclt@gmail.com or Trust secretary Paul Arnott paularnott@aol.com.

The CLT stresses it will maintain confidentiality and discretion, and discuss approaches only with its retained professional advisers at the Wessex Community Land Trust Project.

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