At the drop-in session about possible affordable housing, held at Brentor Village Hall on Saturday 17th November 2018, visitors were able to view concept layout plans for up to 12 houses at Hammer Park. They were also able to question representatives of the Parish Council and West Devon Borough Council about the proposals. The recent Brentor Parish housing needs survey has demonstrated that, with existing housing list members, there is demand for up to 12 new homes. These would be built at Hammer Park as a ‘small affordable housing exception site’ scheme, which allows for the building of principally affordable housing in the National Park.
The current landowner has generously agreed to provide the Hammer Park site for an extremely reasonable sum, which would therefore enable the houses to be truly affordable. A mix of perhaps three full market value homes (which would cross-subsidise the others), three discounted homes and six rented properties would in all likelihood make the scheme economically viable. Open market properties are commonly needed due to the decline of funding for local needs housing.
The full market value homes would be marketed only to people from Brentor Parish in the first instance, such as those wishing to downsize from their existing home. The discounted homes would be sold to local people at a much reduced price (which might be at about 40% discount, but in the future they could only be sold on for a similar discount to other local people). The rental properties would be rented only to people from the Parish initially.
In the future, if there were no takers for any of the properties from within the Parish they could only be occupied by people from within adjoining parishes, and if there was no demand from them, only by people from within the National Park. These properties will never be allowed to become second homes or holiday homes. The s106 planning agreement would include this detail to ensure that the properties were targeted for local people to the parish in perpetuity.
There would be a possibility of including some single-storey properties for the elderly if there is demand.
It was made clear that this development will only go ahead if there is support from people in Brentor, and this will probably need to be gauged by the Parish Council. If it does go ahead there would be full consultation about the mix of properties, their layout, materials and design. They would be well built, reflect the local vernacular, and be low-carbon emission. The properties would probably be built by West Devon Borough Council and retained by them as their own housing stock.
There are other possible housing sites in Brentor, such as the field behind the bus shelter in the village centre (which is currently listed by Dartmoor National Park as being suitable for development with up to 29 homes). If the site at Hammer Park were to go ahead the likelihood of development elsewhere in the village would be reduced for the foreseeable future. West Devon Borough Council and the Parish Council clearly understood the sensitivity of this issue and the feeling in the village that it will engender, but they explained that that there is considerable pressure from Government for each Parish area to provide housing for local needs.
If you need further information about this issue contact Alex Rehaag from the West Devon Borough Council housing team – tel 01822 813600. This issue will no doubt be discussed at forthcoming Parish Council meetings – details of these are on the Parish Council pages of this website.
Watch this space for more information as it emerges.