Saturday, 8 October 2016

A solution to our housing problems: small-scale housing development >>> in Branscombe

The village of Branscombe is a lovely place to live:
Branscombe in East Devon named as one of the best places to live in the country | Exeter Express and Echo

The problem being that you have to be retired or on holiday to enjoy it:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth's ageing population: "Without urgent investment in coastal communities, some areas will struggle to retain the working age families needed to fuel the economies of towns dominated by old people’s homes."

But this is happening all along the West Country coast:
Padstow's locals are priced-out of Cornish resort by tourist boom | UK news | The Guardian

One solution is small-scale building of housing which includes affordable housing:
Futures Forum: CPRE: 'Getting Houses Built' >>> supporting small builders and improving the viability of brownfield development

One such small-scale housing development with affordable housing has been proposed for Branscombe:
15/1291/MOUT | Outline application with all matters reserved for construction of 10 no. dwellings (6 affordable, 4 open market) including site access and service road, parking turning areas and footpaths | Land Adjacent The Fountain Head Berry Hill Branscombe

Earlier this week, the District Council's planning committee approved the application:

The Herald carries the story:

Yes to ‘excellent’ affordable homes in Branscombe

06:35 08 October 2016

Plans for a new housing development, aimed at creating affordable homes to help young families live in Branscombe, have been approved.

The outline application would see 10 homes, including six ‘affordable’ properties, built on land adjacent to the Fountain Head pub.
Members of East Devon District Council’s development management committee met on Tuesday to discuss the proposals. Applicant Andrew Gibbins, who grew up in Branscombe, told the committee he was committed to providing ‘attractive, sustainable, affordable homes’ that respected the village’s character and appearance. He said: “The village has a great but aging community which is struggling to keep up the numbers of the local school where there are currently 22 pupils and only three new starters this year.
“We need young families in our community to sustain and maintain what few services we have.”
District council ward member Geoff Pook also backed the plans and said the average home in Branscombe started at £357,000. Cllr Pook added: “There’s no denying there is a need for affordable housing in Branscombe - the holiday home percentage is 30 per cent - plus. You go to Branscombe out of holiday season and you just see empty houses and dark windows.
“Youngsters just cannot get onto the housing market and get houses in the village in which they were born and in which they live in and their families live in.”
Cllr Matt Coppell said the plan was the ‘right thing for the right village’, but he could not support it as there was no Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Helen Parr said: “It’s got the support of the parish council, the district councillor and the young families that cannot stay in Branscombe. I think this is an excellent scheme.”

Yes to ‘excellent’ affordable homes in Branscombe - News - Sidmouth Herald

Interestingly, this article comes with a photograph of Branscombe:
How can we make Brexit work for the environment? | Craig Bennett | Environment | The Guardian

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