Marshfield CLT site selection process
The ‘Marshfield Village Housing Survey 2013’ revealed a need for affordable rented and shared ownership housing and in the first instance the CLT is thinking about 10-15 housing units. To develop such housing one of our first tasks is to find a suitable site that is supported by the Marshfield community.
In our initial site selection process we are taking advice from the Wessex Community Land Trust Project which has experience of working with 18 other CLT’s and has identified the process the CLT should follow in its ‘Searching for a Site for Affordable Homes’ guide. We are also using South Gloucestershire Council Guidelines on searching for sites in rural communities.
The first stage Wessex CLTP recommend is that the CLT identifies all potential sites around Marshfield as well as those within the settlement boundary. A CLT has a chance of getting planning permission on green belt through what are called ‘rural exception sites’ if the local community support such a proposal. So the review of sites includes a number of such areas which would be less likely to get planning approval for market led housing.
The next stage the CLT has followed is to assess these sites against the criteria that are identified by South Gloucestershire Council:
• relationship of proposed sites to the built form of the existing settlement;
• highway and pedestrian access and safety;
• environmental factors, such as landscape form and character, flooding, archaeology and historic character, ecology, agricultural land quality etc;
• implications of any relevant planning policy such as Green Belt, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The third stage will involve contacting landlords of the sites that best fit these criteria. If they provide a positive response, additional criteria and further advice on site selection assessment may be obtained from the Council’s planning and transportation officers.
We will then have a much better idea of which sites are the most suitable and available. Hopefully this will result in a short list of recommended sites and at least one that is acceptable to everyone. We will set out our conclusions in a transparent manner and engage in consultation including taking our proposals to the Marshfield community through an open village meeting. Acceptability to the community is a key factor in selecting a site.
If there is support for the CLT recommendation, detailed proposals will then need to be worked out to confirm the feasibility in terms of identified housing needs and planning and financial constraints.