Anyone who attended the drop in session will already know about this affordable housing development. Many people are for it, and many people are against it. In this post I am going to try and convey what I know and answer some questions I have been asked.
I would really like to hear from as many people as possible, either in the comments below, the comment section on the Facebook post or via email. It is obvious to me that we need more affordable housing in the town. However, this site is less than ideal. Access is a real issue.
What is it?
This is a development of..
Four, one bedroom houses
Ten, two bedroom houses
Ten, three bedroom houses
24 houses in total with space for 48 cars.
Why this site?
This is an exception site. This means it cannot be sold on the open market. Which means it would be sold at a lower value, which ultimately means it’s valued low enough for a housing association to build affordable housing on it. If this site was being sold at ‘the going rate’ there is no way they would be able to deliver affordable housing.
Who is it for?
This development is for people with a strong local connection which is determined by Bishops Castle Town Council. Many people tell me that local people do not get priority. It is important to understand that not all houses in the town are dealt with in this way. Drews Leaslow is. If you are looking for an existing development to compare this one to, Drews Leaslow is a good fit.
If you feel that there is a systemic problem with the way Shropshire Council prioritise housing need, we have to treat that as a separate but related issue.
If you object, please be clear.
If you decided to put in an objection to this development, please be clear about why you object. For example, If lots of people simply say “no!” then it makes it very difficult to argue for more affordable housing. Councillors could argue that the community didn’t need more housing because when offered it, they objected.
In my opinion, the drawings of this site actually look great. I like that they have considered the environment, with ‘public green pedestrian routes’ and native plants and hedgerows. In fact they’re more detailed about this than I expected.
Then there is the obvious benefit of young people who grew up in the area being able to get on the property ladder or rent a home. I am not yet aware of how the homes will be split. I will find out ASAP. However, I know the homes are part of a help to buy scheme.
I still don’t see a real solution to the access issue. This puts a lot of pressure on one road. I am told that the real bottle neck is not actually Oak Meadow but on Kerry Lane where the high retaining wall creates a choke point with no traffic management.
The thing that I have noticed is that almost everyone who is strongly opposed to this development are not in housing need, and everyone who is strongly for this development, are in housing need. This doesn’t take into consideration the people who are opposed being directly affected by the build, which I understand is a separate issue.
If you have an opinion on this please comment below, or comment on the original Facebook post. I really want to know how people are affected by this.
For more information visit the Planning Portal here