The Georgeham Neighbourhood Plan has been redrafted and is currently awaiting a ‘health check’ with a Consultant Planning Advisor to ensure that all the legal requirements have been met. The District Council have offered us this service and they are seeking quotations for the work; unfortunately the officers dealing with this have been delayed by circumstances beyond their control.
As soon as we are able we will publish the Draft Plan for a formal Consultation process.
Those who have worked on the Plan and the many who have contributed to it share the frustrations associated with this delay.
Georgeham Parish CLT is now being formed to provide genuine affordable homes for people with a connection to the parish of Georgeham. We all know how urgently these are needed and it was no surprise when, in 2019 a local survey identified 18 local households looking for homes for rent or shared ownership. By ‘local connection’ we mean people with a connection by living here now (perhaps grown up but living with parents), work here now (but travel from away), or have lived here in the past (but have been forced to move away to find somewhere to live).
If GPCLT is to provide these homes we will need to build on one or more sites. Affordable homes for local people can be built on land that would otherwise unavailable to private developers; usually agricultural land adjacent to the existing settlement. This is allowed under Local Plan Policy ST19: Affordable Housing on Exception Sites.
We are therefore appealing to local landowners to let us know if they would like to talk to us. We are looking for sites that are reasonably level (or at least not too steep!), accessible from an adopted road, 1/2 acre or more in size, not prone to flooding and generally developable. Potential sites should be adjacent to the main settlements of Georgeham or Croyde. The value of these sites is more than agricultural value but nowhere near commercial residential value. Typically, the value is up to £7,000/plot.
Any land we develop will be owned freehold by GPCLT and permanently held for the benefit of the community. No-one involved in the CLT will profit financially from the project; we are all volunteers. We will work with a suitable housing association on our terms to fund and build the homes using a model that has proved very successful elsewhere in Devon. The latest such project to complete was by developed by Appledore CLT and their partner, Aster Housing.
Please help us help local people to live here! For an informal discussion, contact Tina Luxton (recently appointed as designate chair of GPCLT) on 07831145898 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th October 2019.
I’ll be sending the Agenda for next Thursday’s meeting and the draft Minutes later this evening.
The CLT had its first steering group meeting on Monday 9th September in Georgeham village Hall. There were eight residents present along with Alison Ward from Wessex Community Land Trust Project providing professional support and guidance.
There was positive enthusiasm from all attendees for affordable, sustainable housing for local people. The two main tasks for the steering group are to formally establish the CLT and look at the aims and vision.
At the next meeting we will also begin to consider options for a housing project. If you would like to join the steering group to help with this project you should come along (please be mindful the steering group is not a public meeting so anyone coming along should be willing to get involved and not just to observe).
The next meeting will be held at Georgeham village Hall at 4pm on Thursday 10th October. The group will vote on a chairperson, secretary and treasurer. If you are keen to see affordable housing delivered in our parish please come and get involved in this exciting project happening in your community.
Local residents are being reminded to make sure they get the right planning permission for their development before starting work.
The advice is being given following recent enforcement action which needed to be taken by North Devon Council on the owner of a building in a village within the Authority’s area. The building had planning permission for use as an agricultural plant store and garage but was being used as the owner’s home.
An enforcement notice was issued stating the first floor, internal fixtures and fittings relating to the use as a dwelling and an external staircase needed to be removed. A additional building on the site also had to be removed because the owners didn’t have any planning permission for it.
The Leader of North Devon Council said “The planning process provides the opportunity for applications to discuss their plans with our officers before starting work. This case highlights the financial cost that can be experienced and the loss of a building when someone decides to do something without the correct permissions.
It’s the Council’s job to make sure development is carried out in appropriate locations across the district. Unrestricted residential development outside the development boundary such as this goes against policy strictly controlling development within the open countryside. When unauthorised development is brought to our attention and it is in the public interest we will take appropriate enforcement action”.
North Devon Council offers a pre-application advice service providing anybody considering development within the North Devon district with the opportunity to discuss their plans with a planning officer before submitting a planning application. Information about the service is available on the planning pages of the Council website. Information about planning enforcement including how to report a concern, the enforcement process in North Devon and notices issued, is also available on the website.
Are there people in Georgeham Parish unable to rent or buy a home? Have people had to move away from the parish to find an affordable home?
The Parish Council needs to update the information on housing need in Georgeham Parish as well as canvassing the opinions of local residents.
The best way to identify the exact requirements is to carry out a Parish Housing Needs Survey.
In Georgeham Parish we will soon be posting a survey form to every home in the parish.
It is really important that as many households as possible complete and return the form so that the Parish Council can be given as comprehensive picture as possible of housing need. The figures obtained will help them to plan for the future and ensure that the correct number and size of homes are built in the parish for local people.
The survey is being administered by the Rural Housing Enabler at Devon Communities Together, which is an independent organisation. They will process the information and all personal details will remain confidential. No individual will be able to be identified from the survey report.
If you know someone who has moved from Georgeham Parish because they cannot afford accommodation then they can also complete the form. Extra forms can be obtained from Janice Alexander at Devon Communities Together on 01392 248919 Ext 7122 or email email@example.com Anyone needing any help with the form should also contact Janice for assistance.
If you believe you are in need of affordable housing, you should register with Devon Home Choice at www.devonhomechoice.com
Georgeham Parish Council would like to invite local people who need affordable housing to come and discuss their requirements with the local Rural Housing Enabler. A representative from Devon Home Choice will also be present to explain the registration process for affordable housing.
Date 16th April 2019 Croyde Village Hall: Time 10:00am – 2.00pm Georgeham Village Hall: Time 2:30pm —7:00pm
North Devon Homes are purchasing 5 new homes in Croyde which are available to rent and buy under shared ownership for residents of the Georgeham Parish, as follows:
1 x 3 bedroom shared ownership house
Shared ownership allows for you to buy a percentage share of a property, and rent for the percentage not owned is paid to the housing provider. The initial share being sold is 40%. The owner can buy further shares in the future a maximum 80%.
Property Value: £300,000 – Min 40% share: £125,000
These properties will be rented at social rent levels, which will be confirmed nearer to completion In order to be able to bid for these properties, please register with Devon Home Choice- https://www.devonhomechoice.com
All properties are subject to a local occupancy restriction to the Georgeham Parish, where by the applicant must be able to evidence one or more of the following criteria:
Minimum continuous residence of 5 years in the Parish
Continuous employment for 5 years in the Parish
Current employment in the Parish in an agricultural related activity, the emergency services, as a professional healthcare or social worker or as a qualified primary or secondary school teacher.
The properties are anticipated for completion in May 2018.
For more information or to register your interest in these properties please contact Lisa Chapple 01271 312 528