FAQs Consultation on Site

Marshfield Community Land Trust

Consultation on Proposed Site for Affordable Housing

Saturday July 21st Community Centre; Small Hall 12.00 noon


  1. What is the MCLT and what does it do?
  • The MCLT is a non-profit making organisation which aims to secure assets which are of benefit for the local community.
  • Its first project has been to search for a site on which it can build some affordable housing to be held in perpetuity for people with local connections, either current residents or those who have an existing family or employment connection.
  • It aims to provide affordable rented homes plus some homes for shared ownership in line with the evidence from the 2013 Marshfield housing needs survey.
  1. How is it possible to build affordable housing given the price of land?
  • National and local planning policy recognises that there is a problem in building affordable homes given the price of land inside settlement boundaries.
  • So it is possible for groups such as the MCLT to get planning approval on land where planning permission would not normally be given for full commercial market housing (eg Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). A small number of market homes may also be allowed.
  1. What has the MCLT been doing to find some land?
  • MCLT started its search by looking at a wide number of sites around the Marshfield settlement boundary and contacted a number of landowners to see if they were interested in selling land. We had a number of conversations but did not actually manage to secure a site in over two years.
  1. So how have you acquired the site you are now proposing for consultation?
  • We extended our search to sites which are ‘related to’ Marshfield (ie nearby) rather than adjacent to the boundary. We have also used the possibility of some market housing to offer landowners with a suitable site a small number of plots in exchange for the land needed for affordable housing. This proved to be more attractive to landowners.
  1. How many houses do you expect to build?
  • We expect to build 18 houses of which 12 will be affordable housing to include some for rent and some for shared ownership. There will be three market plots for the landowner and three market plots which will cross subsidise the affordable houses.
  • We hope that the result will be a small group of houses with a mix of house sizes, designs and tenures.
  1. What size houses do you expect to build?
  • We will have more knowledge on what is needed when the new housing needs survey has been completed. The results from that will allow us to make final decisions about the size and configuration of the housing to be provided.
  • We anticipate that there will be a mix of affordable housing to include one, two and three bedroomed houses or flats. The market houses are likely to be three/four bedroomed.
  1. How will the MCLT ensure the houses are of good quality and design?
  • Look at Wessex CLT housing site and you will see the quality of CLT sites
  • The MCLT intend that the design of housing and the site layout will be developed in consultation with the village
  • Whatever we do it will be subject to South Gloucestershire Council policies that take account of environmental considerations including landscape and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt and AONB.
  1. What happens after this meeting?
  • If the meeting supports MCLT’s preferred site the next step will be to explore whether the site is feasible in terms of issues such as access, financial viability and the nature of the design. Our request for planning approval will be pushing at the limits of planning policy so we know there are significant challenges to overcome.
  • There is no legally binding agreement between the MCLT and the landowner until these issues have been determined and it is clear that it is a suitable site and that affordable housing can be delivered on that site. The MCLT and the site owners accept that the feasibility study could find that the project is not viable.
  • To undertake a feasibility study MCLT will select an architect and a partner housing association who will work with us throughout the project.
  • The housing association and the architect will provide professional support. Further support will be available from the Wessex Community Land Trust Project who have already worked with a considerable number of CLT’s to deliver affordable housing across the south-west. Their experience has been and will continue to be extremely valuable in supporting MCLT.
  • If the meeting does not support our preferred site the MCLT Board will reflect on what it does next and whether there are concerns it can address or it needs to move on to find another site.
  1. Which site are you proposing to the village?
  • Full information about the site and the proposed way forward will be provided at the public meeting on July 21st. We hope to see you there.

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Village Consultation Meeting Notice




12.00 NOON



Important update on Marshfield CLT affordable homes site search

Posters will be appearing in the next few days inviting you to an open village meeting on the Marshfield CLT proposed site for developing a small number of affordable houses. As a reminder, these would be up to 18 houses with a mix of rental and shared ownership, to be allocated to people with a local connection to the village. The site will include a small number of market homes to help fund the project. All developed and controlled by Marshfield CLT.

We’re still at an early stage in this project, but are excited to be able to share where we’ve got to in our thinking. Please come along to hear more and share your views.

Newsletter June 2018

 FAQ Consultation on Site

Feedback comments

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Newsletter June 2018

MCLT news        18th June 2018

Affordable Housing Project

We want to give you details of how our search for a site is progressing and how it has changed as we have tried to overcome various hurdles.

The sort of housing we hope to build

The 2013 Marshfield housing needs survey and the considerable national evidence shows that many people have great difficulty in finding a secure home. We are working to address this problem with a particular focus on people with local connections to help maintain the vitality, economic and social strength of our community. So we have been searching for a site on which we can build a mixture of homes for rent and shared ownership which will be held for the community in perpetuity.

This reflects the evidence from the last housing need survey, although we recognise that the new survey recently commissioned by the Parish Council may change the balance of tenures required. The 2013 Survey report argued:

“Based on the income data provided and information from shared ownership valuations in the area, there is a realistic demand for shared ownership in the parish but affordable rented homes are the tenure most likely to meet long term, local need in the village.”

This conclusion was based on the information given about the type and size of housing needed and the mortgage capacity of respondents rather than their wants and aspirations.

How rural exception sites not normally available for housing can support affordable homes

The need for rural affordable housing is recognised to be a nationwide problem. This has led to both national and local planning policies that support the provision of  affordable housing for people with local connections by granting planning approval on what are called rural exception sites outside the village boundary.

These sites would not normally be used for housing and in Marshfield will be in the green belt, or designated  Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and/or be in a conservation area where planning permission would not normally be given for commercial market housing. This recognises that the price of land within settlement boundaries is prohibitive for affordable housing.

Rural exception sites address the needs of the local community by accommodating households who are either current residents or have an existing family or employment connection. Small numbers of market homes may be allowed at the local authority’s discretion.

MCLT’s search for an affordable site

Phase 1- initial search

The MCLT have looked carefully at a range of sites that adjoin the Marshfield settlement boundary using South Glos. Council criteria and our own local knowledge to see if it is possible to obtain a site which could be put forward as a rural exception site and could be purchased at a price appropriate for affordable housing.

One of the difficulties we have encountered is that the position of Marshfield and its attractiveness along with the national shortage of homes raises expectation that South Gloucestershire Council may change the settlement boundary and land that one day has value as agricultural land could the next day have a greatly increased value if identified as available for market housing. The new draft Local Plan has added to this uncertainty. Equally land owners may have other reasons, but the effect has been that MCLT is finding it difficult to secure an available rural exception site.

We reported this to the AGM so this part of our search will be familiar to you all. Since then we have responded to these difficulties in two ways which we hope will be more productive. Neither of these were how we initially saw the MCLT securing a site but we have had to think of new approaches to overcome the difficulties we have encountered.

Phase 2 – Extending the search

We have now extended our search to sites which are close to the settlement boundary but not adjacent. Planning regulations now include the phrase ‘related to’ and sites that fit that description are now being explored by MCLT.

Planning policies have also recently been changed to allow a small number of market houses to be built on rural exception sites along with the affordable homes. We are thus able to offer landowners with a suitable site, a small number of plots (with planning permission) in exchange for the land being made available for affordable homes. This gives landowners an incentive to agree to transfer land to the CLT.

We expect that no more than a 1/3 of the houses would be market housing. On a site suitable for 18 houses, 3 would be market plots for the owner, 3 will be market plots which will cross subsidise the affordable houses and 12 will be affordable housing to include some for rent and some for shared ownership.  Such a development will be subject to South Gloucestershire Council policies that take account of environmental considerations including landscape and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt and AONB.

So to summarise MCLT‘s current position on affordable housing:

We are looking to provide a mix of rented and shared ownership affordable housing, reflecting the housing needs identified in the 2013 survey.

By introducing the possibility of a small element of market housing on suitable sites we have:

  • attracted more interest from landowners
  • established the principle of a cross subsidy so we may actually be able to deliver genuinely affordable housing
  • allowed an affordable housing development to reflect the mixed tenure pattern that is typical of much of the housing in Marshfield.

Our recent approach has led to negotiations with some land owners and if these are successful we will bring a recommended site to a village meeting.

Housing Need Survey

South Gloucestershire Council and the Parish Council are shortly to carry out a new Housing Needs Survey. The 2013 survey is considered out of date and MCLT will be very pleased to have the new information as this is required for a planning application on a rural exception sites.

For such an application, SGC require that a housing survey shows “a genuine local need for affordable housing within the rural settlement /parish from people who are or have been closely connected with the rural settlement /parish”. The MCLT need the new survey to provide evidence that this is the case if we are to make a convincing case to SGC planners for new affordable housing.

A Housing Need Survey includes questions on general issues of housing as well as a section for those who consider they have a housing need. This means it is relevant to all Marshfield residents not just those who have a housing need.

The survey will also want to make contact with people who have left the village, unable to afford to live here, and those who have worked in the village for some time. This ‘hard to reach’ group are important in identifying the full picture of local housing need.

The surveys will come through the letter boxes of Marshfield residents and will give an opportunity for people to identify anyone they know who belongs to that ‘hard to reach’ group so they too can access the survey. There will be information on the form about how to do this.

To encourage you to fill in the SGC/Parish Council survey I hope the following ‘rhyme’ will make you smile and prompt you to give a little time to answer the survey questions when it comes through your door.


Housing Need Survey

Please don’t throw this in the bin

Just sit down and fill it in

You can’t in the future moan

If your views were never known


If you feel you need a home

Take this chance to make it known

Let the Council hear your voice

So all can have a housing choice


Old and young, rich and poor

We all would like our own front door.

As always, if you have questions, suggestions or comments please get in touch with me or any of the Board directors.

Christine Eden

Chair MCLT (c.eden@live.co.uk) 01225 891525

Board of Directors: Oliver Shirley, David Dodd, Simon Turner, Jim Brookes, Ian Dawes, Ian Jones, Jenny Gibbons


Newsletter May 2018

Dear MCLT Member                                                                                    9th May 2018

It’s about time we let you know what we’ve been doing since our Annual Report so here’s an update on our latest activities.

Site Search
Our top priority is to develop affordable homes and we are still heavily involved in finding a site. As anyone who has bought or sold a house will know, this can be a tortuous and time consuming process. When it comes to acquiring land for development the issues to be resolved can be even more complicated – not just business and family considerations but planning constraints, neighbour issues and the likely response of the village. But we think that because MCLT is a not-for-profit organisation and embedded in the local community it stands the best chance of finding solutions which are acceptable to all parties.

Energy Group
The CLT aims to develop a range of community assets not just affordable homes. Elsewhere CLTs are running shops, pubs, community gardens and other projects. Here in Marshfield an opportunity has arisen to build on the important pioneer work around local energy use and storage which has been carried out over the past few years. We’re pleased to announce that a newly formed Marshfield Energy Working Group is now operating as part of the MCLT.

Facebook and Website
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jenny Gibbons, who has recently joined the MCLT board. Jenny’s first task has been, in collaboration with board member Ian Dawes, to create the new MCLT Facebook page. Go and have a look if you haven’t already visited it. Also don’t forget to keep up with the MCLT website (www.marshfieldclt.org) originally created by Mike Krohn and much admired by our sister CLTs in the region. Mike has now left the board and we are most grateful for the wonderful start he gave us.

Wanted! A Director and Secretary to Follow David Dodd 
David has worked tirelessly as our secretary since MCLT was formed, but intends to retire soon so we are looking for someone to replace him as a director and take on the role of secretary. If you would like to think about this or know of anyone who might be interested please get in touch with David or any other board member (contact details below).

Housing Needs Survey
The CLT has been keeping up to date with housing needs by conducting informal interviews with local people. Now Marshfield Parish Council has commissioned a full housing needs survey to replace the one carried out in 2013. It will be undertaken by South Glos Council. Both the Parish Council and SGC are keen to ensure that people not currently living in the village, but who have strong links with Marshfield through family or employment, do not get overlooked by the survey. If you know of anyone with a local connection who is in housing need please forward their name to Marshfield Parish Council or MCLT (contact details below) and they will receive a form.

South Glos Local Plan Consultation
In our response to the recent consultation, we have argued that Marshfield’s contribution to SGC’s housing targets should come solely from MCLT, building affordable homes for local people via a ‘rural  exception site’, and not from an allocation of land outside the village boundary for a market-led housing development.

And Finally
What keeps us going through all the ups and downs of working with the CLT is our belief that, particularly when it comes to housing and other community assets, local people should have a bigger say in deciding the long-term future of the village. If you have comments or questions please get in touch through our web site or via email to Christine Eden or David Dodd (contact details below). Alternatively you can approach any of our directors face-to face. As always, thank you for your support.

Christine Eden (Chair)                            Jim Brookes
OliverShirley (Vice Chair)                      Ian Dawes
David Dodd (Secretary)                           Jenny Gibbons
Simon Turner (Treasurer)                     Ian Jones

Contact details
Christine Eden                          c.eden@live.co.uk                        01225 891525
David Dodd                                 davidjoyedodd@freeuk.com      01225 891507
Marshfield Parish Council   marshfieldpc@btconnect.com     01225 892102