CLT May 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Spring Newsletter

I hope you are all safe and well. The last Newsletter was issued in November last year and a lot has taken place over the last 5 months.

Having appointed our architect (ECA Architects) and housing association (South Devon Rural HA) partners, we established a Project Team which includes ECA, SDRHA, Consulting Engineers (Craddy’fs), Combe Estate, 3 members of GCLT Board and Wessex CLT Project (our long suffering adviser’fs). The Project Team meets regularly and the notes of the meeting are circulated to the GCLT Board for information and comment.

The architect has probably been the busiest member of the team with the consulting engineers running a close second.

The site itself presents a number of challenges not least those which relate to finding a point of access which meets highway authority (DCC) standards and how to deal with surface water runoff. There is also an interesting challenge for the architect in that they are having to respond to 3 clients – the expectations of Gittisham CLT, the Combe Estate and the financial constraints imposed on the Housing Association which arise from the Government funding for the construction costs.

The initial work of the Project Team focused on footprint design. A number of options have been assessed and debated within the team. The Zoom channel has been pretty busy! There was an initial brief provided for the architect which, in short, required the architect to come forward with a proposal which respected the sensitivity of the location and the setting of the site in relation to the village and the form of development within the village. Work has now been extended to looking at design, construction and surface materials. The village has a wide range of traditional materials and elements taken from this palette of materials are being considered in the onsite design. Thatch is not on the agenda!!

Alongside the work of the Project Team discussions have continued with EDDC and it has been encouraging to have received support for the GCLT proposals from the Housing department. The normal practice regarding engagement with the Planning department involves the making of a Pre Planning Application (Pre App) submission which outlines the case for the application together with the design evolution and gives the planning officer the opportunity to identify any additional areas of information (or possible areas of amendment) which would benefit the consideration of the planning application following its formal submission. After burning some midnight oil the Pre App submission was made on 25th February. We have now received the Pre App response which has put forward a number of points to consider and concludes:

“The principle of development is acceptable providing the application is accompanied by the relevant needs survey and supporting information. The layout and design may require some alterations however the general concept is supported.”

The  Project Team have submitted further comments addressing the points made within the EDDC response and as mentioned earlier, is now putting together the detail of the dwelling design, ground treatments, on and off site technical infrastructure, landscaping and boundary details etc.. Please don’ft expect ‘eGrand Designs’f and remember that building costs have to be controlled in order that rentals are truly at an affordable level. The full application submission will include the designs for the 3 estate plots (Combe are employing the same architects) so we will have a comprehensive picture of how the development will appear.

A date has now been set for a Public Exhibition displaying all the details of the development including the 3 estate dwellings. This date is 11th June in the Village Hall between 3.00pm and 8.00pm. The architects together with the Housing Association, the Estate, Board members of GCLT and hopefully a representative from EDDC housing, will be in attendance to answer questions. Comments will be recorded and considered after the exhibition date. As an initial stage to this period of public consultation I am circulating details of the proposed site layout and these are attached as a PDF. These details are also being circulated with the May Gazette. If you would like to make any initial comments then please send them to me at .

David Valentine

Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX