Community asked to comment on affordable homes site

1 November 2019: Colyton & Colyford Community Land Trust has identified its first potential affordable housing site in its mission to meet the need for affordable homes for local people.

At a public meeting at the Colyton Feoffees Town Hall on Tuesday 29 October the Trust gave details of a site which adjoins existing homes at Seaway Head and is off Old Sidmouth Road (shown in the photo above). A scheme for up to 20 one, two and three-bedroom homes for rent is proposed. The first stage will be to undertake a detailed feasibility study, including designs that will be shared with the community for comment in advance of any planning application.

Over the last 10 months the Trust has carefully considered a number of possible sites across the parish against a set of criteria including access, availability of services and proximity to other homes. The site selected is regarded as being a good opportunity and has the benefit of existing access and services provided for the adjoining housing scheme. Agreement has been reached with the owner for site acquisition subject to the outcome of feasibility studies and planning permission. The overall proposal is for an affordable housing scheme together with an area reserved for community open space, such as woodland. The CLT would own and manage this area for the benefit of the community.

The site can be acquired at a price below market value because the site is not allocated for housing currently and any homes built will be affordable in perpetuity. They will be paid for by the Housing Association in its agreement with the Trust and funded by a Government grant.

More than 70 people attended the public meeting at which the proposals were introduced. An opportunity was given for attendees to ask questions. Points raised, together with the next steps, will be considered by the board in due course. A vote by a show of hands showed a majority in favour of proceeding with the feasibility study.

The Trust was established last year after a housing survey revealed a need for at least 36 affordable homes in the Parish. While hopeful of being able to play a key role in the development of affordable homes on the former CeramTec site, the Trust decided to pursue at least one other site in the short term.

The Trust aims to deliver homes for local people in partnership with a Housing Association. The Trust will own the land in perpetuity and the Housing Association will build and manage the homes under a lease from the Trust. It will agree housing allocation criteria with East Devon District Council and the Trust, prioritising those with a local connection through work, residency or family connection. Applicants will need to be registered with Devon Home Choice. The aim is for the rents to be truly affordable — no greater than 80% of market rents in the area.

The Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that is registered as a Community Benefit Society. It is independently run by volunteers, drawing support in particular from the Wessex Community Land Trust Project, Colyton Parish Council, East Devon District Council and Devon Communities Together.

Colyton & Colyford Community Land Trust welcomes further comment and enquiry from members of the community on these preliminary proposals which can be emailed to candcclt@gmail.com. All comments will be considered by the Trustee Board.

 

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