Latest News about Affordable Housing in Middlezoy
Notes from Affordable Homes Steering Group – Monday 13th October 2020
Present: Cllrs. Paul Baker, Aviva Morris, Florence Roulson, Mari Bell-Philips, Nobby and Beckie Turner (Shal Rep)
- Discussion regarding the ‘Community Land Trust’ route which would involve more effort on the council’s part although would give the Parish Council more control on who can rent the affordable homes. Paul mentioned about possibly using David Satchell as an experienced solicitor if this were to go ahead, Nobby stated that David may not be able to be involved as he would have a personal interest in the project.
- Couple of points raised about the number of houses to be available as need to make sure there are not too many affordable homes to fill as SHAL/bank will want to fill them with people not from the village. Also, need to make sure that we can build 2/3 bed houses to be filled by a single occupant so that they can ‘grow into’ the house and would not need so much of a turnover.
- Need to make sure if the landowners would have a say in the development, due to the fact that some landowners may wish to increase development by adding shops/other facilities (which the council would object as to save existing facilities in the village)
- Discussion about potential sites and updates:
- Darby site – delay with Inland Revenue and probable problems with overhead cables (costly work)
- Site opposite Windmill Retreat – dismissed as road and site could flood regularly
- Gary’s site (by Windmill Hill) – problem with access from road (road would need to be re-done which Sedgemoor Council would not pay for)
- Knowles yard site – problem with flooding on road (soakaway needed would be too costly) and gardens at the houses would be impractical as only 6 inches of soil
- Back Lane site – lots of opposition from members of the village via petition, issues with junction outside the pub (would need give way signs from all directions as not big enough area for mini roundabout)
- Actions to take –
- Need for another up to date Housing Survey done to gauge need for affordable homes from village residents (may also need to assess if older residents would want to move into 1 bed houses to downsize). Housing Survey should be done both electronically and physically to include some older residents that may not use the internet (or sub-committee to assist with those who may not be able to use the internet)
- Council to review form from Housing Survey in Parish Council meeting to ensure the form is user-friendly and include/dismiss any questions as the council desires.
- May take action to include flyers/forms in the MOMS to ensure every resident can have their say.
- Ecological survey should be the only survey to be re-done (as last one was 3 years ago) at potential sites.
- Would be ideal to not use the Home Finder site as this has been found to be highly difficult to use.
- Possibility to have an Open Day/meeting (COVID guidelines to be discussed with this) for all interested applicants to explain the process and how to apply, also would need to keep all these applicants informed throughout progress to make sure that they are still interested/viable to take properties.
- Need to firm up rules from Government about new Shared Ownership vs. Social Housing.
- Sedgemoor Council hold list of previous interest applicants from 2017 and will not release names to Parish Council due to GDPR. We may need to include a checkbox on Housing Survey forms so that interest applicants can agree for PC to hold their details so that we can keep them informed.
For the published 2021 Housing Needs Assessment please click here: