The Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust – MARCH 2018 UPDATE
Over the winter months, the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust has been busy working on the feasibility process for the development of six affordable homes on the site at Chilcombe Field in Northleigh.
A number of Consultants have been undertaking specialist surveys and producing reports looking at various aspects of the site and whether it will be feasible to develop six affordable houses on it. If the reports show that a viable scheme is possible the Architectural Consultant will then begin the process to develop proposals for the houses on the site.
The surveys being produced include:
- A Topographical Survey measuring the site and looking at the boundaries, levels and features on it.
- An Ecological Survey looking at wildlife across the site.
- An Arboricultural and Tree Survey report focussing on the hedgerows and trees in the field.
- An Invasive Site Survey that has dug trial pits to assess the make up of the ground across the site as well as looking at how well the land drains and whether there are any contaminants there.
- A series of Engineering Constraints such as access to the site, road and traffic issues, visibility splays, levels and suitability of the ground for foundations, waste disposal and other services.
- An Architectural assessment utilising all of the above reports and considering other constraints such as view, orientation, site layout, massing and outline landscape proposals.
On completion of the Feasibilty Stage the Board hopes to organise an Open Meeting to explore the findings of the process with the Community.
The Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust wants as many local people as possible to become members.
It would not normally be possible to develop an open-market housing development on a rural site such as Chilcombe Field. East Devon District Council however will consider granting permission for Affordable Housing schemes being built in the area if they are led by local organisations such as Community Land Trusts and have the support of the wider community. The Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust is supported by the three Parish Councils of Northleigh, Southleigh and Farway and many local people have already signed up to be members to show their support as well.
The Trust is currently trying to increase membership and will be placing posters and leaflets in each of the three village halls explaining the process. The website is also been developed to allow membership to be signed up for on line. The Trust hopes that this facility will be available in early April when further posters will be put up around the communities inviting people to log on and sign up. Until that point membership application forms can be downloaded by clicking here.
Summaries of Meetings
Minutes of the meetings held in relation to the project continue to be uploaded to the website. And can be viewed by clicking here. The minutes include a summary of the Special General Meeting called by 5 members of the CLT that was held in December 2017 and reviewed many aspects of the organisation and operation of the Community Land Trust and its Board of Directors.
Change of Roles on the Board of Directors
In November 2017 John Reed resigned as a member of the Community Land Trust Board. The Board would like to thank John for his contribution to the development of the project so far.
At the same meeting Jim Little joined the Board of Directors to replace John. Before he moved to East Devon in 2010 Jim lived in Kent, where he worked as a press and campaigns officer for the Campaign to Protect Rural England. As part of his job he was involved with several projects delivering affordable housing on rural exceptions sites. He also helped promote a land trust which set up a community farm in the east Kent village of Wye. Jim’s continuing interest in rural affordable housing prompted his interest in the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust.
In February 2018 Lynsey Skinner stepped down from her role as Secretary of the Upper Coly Valley Community Land Trust. The Board is very grateful for all of Lynsey’s hard work in progressing the project to this stage. Lynsey will remain very much involved in the ongoing development of the project as a Board Member.
A number of other website updates have also been published online over the last few months:
Code of conduct
A code of conduct for all members is now available to view online. (Click here)
Housing Need Refresher Report for Northleigh, Southleigh and Farway
The original housing need survey undertaken to assess the housing need in the Upper Coly Valley is now over 3 years old.
The Devon Rural Housing Partnership undertook a refresher survey to ensure that the figures were still accurate and to allow for any changes in individual’s personal circumstances. The refresher survey identified an increased number of 5 households who are eligible for affordable housing in the area and met the local connection requirements.
Further details of the report can be read here.
Register for Affordable Housing
A number of local people have contacted the board expressing an interest in the proposed affordable houses should the feasibilty process prove that the site is viable and the project proceed to completion.
A contact form has been added to the website explaining that anyone interested in affordable housing needs to register with Devon Home Choice and links to DHC’s application form. The website page also allows people to submit their details to the CLT who also retain a confidential list of interested parties. More details of the process of registration can be found here.
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