The news you have all been waiting for!
At the packed informal consultation meeting held at noon on 21st July 2018 the MCLT board announced the location of the proposed site. See the location in Handout 2 provided at the meeting.
At the show of hands at the end of the meeting there was was overwhelming support for the MCLT board to move to a full feasibility study. There were some abstentions and no objections.
6 thoughts on “Proposed Affordable Housing Site”
How many of the 150 or so members were at the meeting?
We didn’t keep a ‘register’ but I estimate about 60 of the 106 present were members. We had a number of apologies from members.
I was unable to attend the meeting as I was on holiday, I tried to find out details of the proposed site but your web site indicated that it would only be announced at the meeting. When I returned from holiday I found out that this informal meeting had decided to proceed with the site. Needless to say I am very unhappy that I have been excluded from commenting on this phase of the community project.
I’m sure many other people were also unable to attend, people on holiday, people working, people who were ill or in hospital,people with urgent appointments, the elderly, the disabled etc. Why were these people excluded from participating in the site selection process?
The site details should have been made public BEFORE the meeting, this would have given the entire community the opportunity to evaluate the proposal and participate in the decision making process, either verbally or in writing.
Looking at the attendance figures it would seem that a relatively small proportion of the community decided to move forward with this site, while they were making that decision the other 90 per cent, including myself, did not even know which site had been chosen.
I find this hard to equate with the MCLT aims, objectives and values.
With the conclusion of the site selection process would it be possible to produce a map detailing the 31 other sites identifying if they were unavailable or unsuitable? I can’t see any reason why this level of information should be confidential, total transparency and an effective communications strategy is vital in any community project.
Firstly apologies for the delay in responding. When I returned from a holiday I went through the comments and overlooked your post in the considerable volume of spam we receive.
The role of the meeting was to bring a proposed site before a significant representation of Marshfield residents. The MCLT board has been engaging with landowners for a considerable time and we have been transparent about the site selection process we have been using. However, the details of these discussions are necessarily confidential as we clearly stated to land owners that this would be the case. Our aim has been to propose a site that would be the logical choice by any group following the same process. This is a process that has been recommended to us by an experienced advisor and has been used by many CLTs who have successfully completed housing projects. The overwhelming response at the meeting has given the MCLT board the confidence to spend money of professional services to get to a plan that we can present to Marshfield residents and will subject to normal planning procedures.
Since the meeting we have publicised the site through the web-site and via facebook and we are still receiving overwhelming positive support. It is unfortunate that you were unable to make the meeting but we believe the process we have followed is aligned with our objectives and values.
Ian Dawes (web-editor) on behalf of the MCLT Board.
Firstly, I would like to thank the MCLT board members for all their efforts over the previous two years; I fully appreciated all the hard work involved in getting a project like this off the ground.
Your response unfortunately does not address my main concerns. I have no issue with the Boards site selection process and the final site selection is for the community, as I said in my previous note my concerns relate to the following :-
– A large section of the community was prevented from participating in the site selection
process, possibly hundreds of people.
– The site details were not published before the meeting, I was informed by the MCLT Board that
this was to ensure it would be “debated without preconceived notions intruding”.
As you are aware the CLT Handbook states :-
“The legal definition of a CLT requires it to be democratically controlled by the community it benefits. This means operating in the interests of the wider local community rather than solely for the CLT’s members. Informing the community and involving them in the CLT’s development at the earliest stage is vital.”
The Boards site announcement strategy (two years in the planning??) directly excluded a large section of the community from participating in this important debate. I also found it disconcerting that the Board thought it appropriate to only announce the site details at the meeting, this decision only served the interest of the Board and it certainly certainly disadvantaged the community they represent.
I think it would be useful if the community could see how another CLT works, one example is South Petherton, the WEB address is :-
The SPCLT ‘presentation to their Parish Council’ is an interesting document, in particular pages2/3 which gives comprehensive details of the sites considered, it was distributed to all the residents of the Parish with the Parish Councils agreement.
Thank you for your response and we appreciate that you have taken the time to investigate CLTs in detail.
Every CLT is unique but most have very similar challenges. The example of South Petherton you highlight is a case in point. If you follow the minutes from inception through to October 2016 the process of site selection is almost identical to MCLTs. At the outset it is made clear that the site selection process would be undertaken by the CLT board with proposed site being presented at a village meeting. Approval for the proposed site would be sought from the community, CLT members and the parish council. The divergence of the process at this point was in response by potential objection from ‘very local residents’ which meant that for South Petherton parish council to support the site then a fuller consultation was required. As we have received no negativity to the proposed site from any section of the community through any of our communication channels we have full confidence in the proposed site and see no need to delay in moving forward to provide the affordable housing that Marshfield needs.
We appreciate your feedback and would be happy to meet to discuss further. If you wish to talk please respond to the email that I will send you.
Ian Dawes (web-editor) on behalf of the MCLT board
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