CLT June 2021

Welcome to the June 2021 Newsletter

The Story so far

The project has been 11 years in the making. It began with the identification of the housing need by the local community, through the parish plan back in 2010. From these beginnings, the Community Land Trust has now emerged.

An initial CLT steering group began by identifying the housing need within the parish/village of Gittisham. They held several events in 2016, the outcome of which identified a need for 6 affordable houses for the community. The survey helped crystallise the view that affordable housing was needed to serve the village. The GCLT was formally registered as a Community Benefit Society in October 2018.

The GCLT then undertook a site selection process and evaluated four possible sites in the village. The preferred site was identified as the former farm buildings serving Town Farm on Exeter Hill and was subsequently endorsed by the community at a public meeting. In planning policy terms, there is no clear village boundary. The site sits outside the conservation area but it is washed over by the AONB. It is considered a rural exception site due to the local, affordable housing that it would provide for the community. This is supported in the EDDC local plan strategy 27 and through the recently adopted Affordable Housing, Supplementary Planning Document. The site also benefits from a previous planning permission granted in 1999 for offices and storage buildings. Whilst the currently proposed use for the site is very different to the historic approval, many of the same issues of access and landscape impact remain the same.

Discussions with EDDC Housing resulted in a mix of units, 4 x 2 bed and 2 x 3 bed, being agreed to provide the best balance of accommodation for the need identified. Throughout the project, the land owners, the Combe Estate have been entirely supportive of this community project. They have provided the site and will benefit by the provision of 3 serviced plots for estate usage. They have signed a heads of terms agreement for a conditional land purchase with the CLT. They have also asked the community to lead the project as much as is possible and the architects appointed by the CLT are also acting for the estate. This has all helped derive a scheme that has been directed entirely by the needs of the CLT.

The architect’fs (ECA) have been given a clearly defined brief and a ‘eclean’f site. Following numerous meetings on Zoom the project has evolved into a unique scheme that picks up on aspects of the village in terms of layout, materials, setting and scale.

We are now at a stage where we can present a preferred scheme through a public consultation with the community. The details of the preferred scheme will be on display for public viewing and comment in the Village Hall on Friday 11th June 2021 from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. Representatives from the architects, the GCLT, Combe Estate, and our Housing Association partner, will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments. On behalf of the GCLT I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

I anticipate that there will be enquiries about allocation procedures and I will issue more details in the next Newsletter but for the time being here is a very basic summary.

The properties will be allocated through Devon Home Choice. Anyone who wishes to apply for occupancy of one of the dwellings MUST be registered with Devon Home Choice. This process will result in establishing the level of “housing need” that should be allocated to the applicant. Potential applicants are assessed and placed into one of 5 priority bands, ranging from band A (emergency housing need) to band E (no housing need). In addition to “need” applicants will also be required to show that they have a “local connection” to the village and/or parish. A “local connection” is a connection to the “community area” – that is within 1.2 km of St Michaels Church tower as a first priority and to the “adjacent area” which is the rest of the parish and the surrounding parishes (except Honiton town) as a second priority. Within the “local connection” requirement there are also further priorities regarding existing/previous residency or employment within either the community or adjacent areas, e.g.

4.2.1 Persons who have been permanently resident in the “gCommunity Area”h for a continuous period of three years out of the five years immediately prior to the affordable housing being offered to them;

4.2.2 Having his or her place of permanent work (normally regarded as 16 hours or more a week and not including seasonal employment) in the “Community Area” for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to being offered the affordable dwelling;

4.2.3 Persons who can demonstrate a close family connection to the “Community Area” in that the persons mother, father, son, daughter or sibling has been permanently resident therein for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to the affordable dwelling being offered to them and where there is independent evidence of a caring dependency relationship.

4.2.4 Being formerly permanently a resident in the “Community Area” for a continuous period of five years at some time in the past.

The picture can appear complex and this is a very general summary. It will be formalised in a Housing Allocation Plan which will be endorsed through the Section 106 Agreement which will be attached to the planning permission.

David Valentine
Chairman

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

Categories CLT

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
Chairman

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

Categories CLT