The Public Meeting to discuss the Draft of the Neighbourhood Plan has been postponed following objections over the possible location of affordable housing by some parishioners. In order to take these concerns into account a portion of the Plan is now being re-written. The Public Meeting will now take place later in the year.
Three surveys and two public meetings since 2013 have shown that the Parish as a whole would like around 15-20 new houses to be built over the next 20 years, with at least 5 being ‘affordable’ houses.
In 2012 EDDC called for sites to be put forward for housing by landowners. They called this the SHLAA exercise (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment). The Parish Council was asked in 2013 to evaluate these sites, using criteria laid down by EDDC. Only one site, out of five submitted, met the criteria. Since all such sites would require an element of ‘affordable housing’ it was clear that if we wanted ‘affordable’ housing then this was the best choice. The site we chose became known as Site C 319 and is opposite the Memorial Hall. It is owned by the Trustees of The Grange estate.
The 1st Draft Neighbourhood Plan included the Parish’s desire to develop the site, making it clear that a) the Parish Council would not support more than a limited number of houses on Site C 319, of which 60% would be affordable b) streetlights and pavements would be strongly opposed c) the PC would seek to influence the design and nature of the development to ensure that it would be sympathetic to the unique nature of the village and d) that the Parish Council would like the ‘affordable’ element of housing to be owned by a Community Land Trust. This would safeguard their affordability for all time and provide real benefit to the community.
The Parish Council believes that the additional housing will help support and sustain the village school, pub, shop and church. Concerns over the long term viability of the school are very real and, based on evidence from other villages around the country, its loss would have a very negative impact on the community.
A collection of people in Broadhembury village felt that such a development would have a negative impact on Broadhembury and formed the BVM [Broadhembury Village Matters] group to oppose it. Following a debate at the November Parish Council meeting, attended by over 50 people, an Extraordinary PC meeting was held on the 11th December 2015 to discuss the issue at greater length. The BVM do not feel that the village’s sustainability is under threat and objected strongly to Site C319.
The village of Broadhembury was surveyed on the question of Site C 319. 60% responded, with 61% voting against the development and 36% for. It was clear from the comments attached that most residents in Broadhembury village did not want housing on the site but were not opposed to ‘affordable’ housing somewhere in the Parish.
The section of the Neighbourhood Plan concerning housing will be re-written to acknowledge the community’s desire for a small amount of housing development (up to 20 houses across the parish) over the next 20 years but without specifying a particular site.
The PC has taken great care to minute all discussions with landowners and developers and further details can be found on the Parish website.