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Parish Council Housing Statement - MCLT Update August 2021
In response to emerging South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) planning policy, Marshfield Parish Council (MPC) has set out its position with regard to new housing in the parish which is situated within a Conservation Area and an AONB.
In order to sustain the vitality of the parish, MPC recognises the need for building a limited number of new homes to meet the needs of local people in the current Policies, Sites and Places plan period (until 2027). An independent Housing Needs Survey undertaken by SGC in 2018 identified a need for 17 new affordable houses for people with a proven local connection.
MPC expresses a strong preference for any local requirement housing to be provided within the current settlement boundary. Since 2017, 18 new/converted/renovated dwellings have been added to the local housing stock, but few sites for development exist and these may not become available. Restricted building on a site beyond the settlement boundary may therefore be necessary. For this reason and to keep options open, MPC endorses SGC’s planning policy stance for an ‘exception site’. This allows for a small-scale development, under local control, to potentially come forward.
Within South Gloucestershire Council's Core Strategy, policy CS19 - Rural Housing Exception Sites, it states:
‘Proposals for permanent affordable housing to meet an identified local need (including a small element of market housing where this will facilitate the successful delivery of the affordable housing) will be permitted as an exception on sites where market housing would not normally be acceptable. Proposals should be:
Supported by an approved housing needs survey;
Well related to a rural settlement;
Modest in scale and in keeping with the form and character of the settlement and local landscape setting; and
Supported or initiated by the appropriate Parish Council.
Permission will be subject to conditions, or a legal obligation will be negotiated, to ensure that the affordable housing is reserved in perpetuity for those in local affordable housing need.'
MPC favours a community led approach and has therefore supported a small scale housing scheme initiated by Marshfield Community Land Trust, which will deliver a small a number of local requirement homes to meet the identified need. Out of a total of 18 homes, 12 will be affordable of which 10 will be for rent, 2 for part ownership.
Marshfield Community Land Trust is a registered Community Benefit Society with more than 160 member/shareholders. It has demonstrated its ability to generate local support, find a site, secure funding and achieve planning permission. Its current scheme is now well advanced.
The new homes will be secured in perpetuity for local people which is why MPC favours rented accommodation.
MPC supported this Community led scheme and considered that it was well designed, would not cause harm to the character of the village or the local landscape setting and in all other ways conformed to national and local planning requirements including full public consultation.
In the future Marshfield Community Land Trust aims to develop more homes in response to evolving local need.
MPC maintains its previous position that it does not recognise the need for large scale open market housing and will strongly resist such proposals. Instead, MPC continues to favour a community led approach which can provide the required affordable accommodation alongside continued small scale commercial housing development. This approach will ensure the infrastructure of the village is not overwhelmed and support the economic, familial and social relations that ensure the viability and diversity of small communities.