Sites needed for affordable homes

8 March 2019: THE Colyton and Colyford Community Land Trust has issued an appeal for sites on which to build affordable homes for local people.

A survey in 2017 revealed a need for some 36 affordable homes in the combined parish of Colyton and Colyford over the following five years. Homes England’s current planning application for the former CeramTec site could, if permitted, provide 22 affordable properties amongst the 74 homes sought.

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, 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. It will, therefore, undertake a sifting process of available sites to assess the potential to deliver an affordable housing scheme.

CLT Chairman, Dr Charles Hill, promises complete confidentiality (within the board of directors) through the exploratory stages. “We would like to hear from anyone who has a potentially suitable site or who knows of one that might be available,” he said. “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.”

He added: “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 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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