14 November 2019: The Colyford and Colyford Community Land Trust has responded to a series of comments and questions raised since its public meeting on 29 October. At the meeting, the Trustees identified a site adjoining Seaway Head as having potential for up to 20 one, two and three-bedroom homes for rent.
As a first stage, the Trust intends to undertake a detailed feasibility study, including designs, and will share that with the community for comment in advance of any planning application.
The points raised to date include the following:
Comment: As I understand it from someone who was there, three plots of land had been offered/identified and the decision made by the management board to accept a plot owned by a member of the management board, prior to this public meeting. Where were the other two plots?
Response: It is board policy to maintain confidentiality and will only release this information with the consent of the land owners.
Comment: Is the land the board voted on the same piece that was offered to EDDC in their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)?
Response: The SHLAA has not been updated since 2012 but we do not think that this piece was one of those offered.
Comment: How is the need for affordable housing assessed?
Response: The main reference is the Housing Needs Survey of 2017 which has a life of 5 years.
Comment: There will be drainage problems for the site
Response: The feasibility study will investigate the capacity of all necessary utilities.
Comment: The site is in a green wedge and visible for some distance.
Response: The feasibility study will involve discussion with EDDC Planning and it is certain that a Visual Impact Statement will be commissioned from independent professionals before planning permission is sought.
Comment: Affordable Homes are built to the lowest possible quality standards, will this site be any different?
Response: The CLT will work with the housing association to ensure that as far as possible construction will be of good quality and at least meet current building standards.
Comment: Isn’t the site above the 200-foot contour, which is the upper limit for building in the Neighbourhood Plan?
Response: Agreed; the Neighbourhood Plan is still in its consultation phase and the existing development at Seaway Head has already breached this.
Comment: Why were immediate neighbours not approached before the meeting?
Response: The board had decided to keep the site confidential until the meeting to prevent the circulation of incorrect and possibly distracting rumours. The board also accepts that the feasibility study would include this consultation at an early stage.
Comment: The site is outside development area/current BUAB.
Response: As an exception site it can under certain circumstances be used for affordable housing and this will be addressed in the planning procedure.
Comment: Additional building will increase the traffic on local roads which are narrow, include difficult junctions and have already seen an increase in traffic since the housing was built at Seaway Head.
Response: Highways authorities will be consulted as part of the feasibility study.
Comment: The land belongs to a board member — when did she resign?
Response: The rules of incorporation do not preclude land owners from membership of the board provided that their interest is declared, that they do not vote on matters relating to their interest and are not included in the quorum when such matters are discussed. Our website has now been updated to reflect recent resignations.
Comment: Will priority be given to providing affordable housing for local people?
Response: The board will formulate an allocations policy in consultation with EDDC which will give priority to those with a Colyton Parish connection. As the Land Trust will hold the freehold, this will apply to future tenants also.
Comment: What about wildlife such as dormice?
Response: The feasibility study will include an environmental and ecological survey. It is the board’s intention to add features which may enhance these.
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