Report from Helmdon Parish Council regarding the Housing Needs Survey carried out by South Northants Council
South Northamptonshire Council and Helmdon Parish Council have been working together since July 2008 to ascertain if there is a need for affordable housing in Helmdon. A survey was delivered to all households last year and the results have now been collated by SNC and compiled into a report which the Parish Council have signed off.
The report found that:
- 39% of respondents said that they would be in favour of a small scale affordable housing development.
- The main concerns of residents were “Lack of facilities in village”, “Increase in traffic congestion” and “New site will not be keeping with the village”. Due to these concerns consultation with residents and appropriate solutions would be sought prior to any development taking place.
- The main reason for most people looking to move within the next five years is to set up home for the first time
All of those who need to move but wish to remain within the village have a strong local connection to Helmdon. A local connection is usually defined as someone that lives in the village for at least 3 years, previously lived in the village or have relatives in the village and also other considerations such as working or undertaking education.
After collating all information, SNC has determined a housing need for 4 affordable homes for rent.
A village walkabout was carried out on the 13th of February to identify potential sites for developing the homes; Representatives from SNC (Strategic Housing) Grand Union Housing Association and an SNC Planning Officer were present, together with members of the Parish Council.
Several potential sites were viewed and discussed and one site at the bottom of Station Road seemed to be considered as a preferred site.
SNC, Grand Union Housing and South Northants Homes attended the May Parish Council meeting in order to present preliminary proposals and answer questions from members of the public, including those living in close proximity to the proposed site. The Parish Council noted and queried the fact that the proposal is for four units plus the replacement of the two existing bungalows in Station Road, rather than simply the four units identified in the Housing Needs Survey. Questions were also put to SNC regarding the viability of the other sites as these were not felt to have been explored sufficiently. Some members of the public felt strongly that there is no need for additional housing in the village.
The Parish Council have asked the SNC and Grand Union Housing to make the results of their assessments of the other sites public, and to enter into further discussions before agreeing to any proposals being submitted to the Planning Authorities.
Further updates will be given at the next Parish Council meeting on 22nd July 2009.