WDBC pulls out from proposed Brentor Affordable Housing scheme
WDBC had formally withdrawn from supporting the proposed affordable housing scheme in Brentor saying that the survey did not identify a sufficient need. This means that Dartmoor National Park are unlikely to grant planning for the proposed development of affordable housing on the outskirts of the village and that makes the project unviable. While we wait for the full decision to be sent to us the Housing Needs Survey has been provided for publication. You can access a copy of it Housing Needs Survey April 22.
We will update the website when we have more information.
The current situation
The housing needs survey has been collated and the results are due to be put before the WDBC Councillors in the next couple of weeks. There have been some informal meetings with WDBC officers regarding the results of the survey and the possible decisions that the members of the WDBC may make but there will be no more certain information until the members have made a decision on the future of the scheme. As soon as the Parish Council know what that decision is we will be in touch with residents.
Another housing needs survey…..
A statement from Brentor Parish Council:-
Brentor Parish Council have, in the last few days, been notified by WDBC that it is their intention to carry out a full Housing Needs Survey for the parish of Brentor, to evidence and support any planning application to Dartmoor National Park regarding the building of the proposed new affordable housing in the village.
The survey will be posted to every household in the parish during the week commencing the 7th March and have a 3 week response window. Following this, a report will be produced that can be shared with the parish council which will then inform us of the next steps that West Devon Borough Council will take.
It is essential that every household completes the survey, even if you do not require accommodation in the immediate future. People who have already responded to any previous housing survey (via social media/open events/etc.) or who think they are already ‘on the list’, should, yet again, respond and complete this survey in order to be included, as previous statements of interest will not be accounted for.
Brentor Parish Council
16 February 2022
West Devon Borough Council commits substantial funding to Brentor’s affordable housing scheme in 2021
Some time ago West Devon Borough Council announced that it would be applying for planning permission to provide five affordable rented homes and four shared ownership homes at Hammer Park. The change from providing some discounted homes to shared ownership was apparently to enable the Council to apply for government funding towards the project. However, months on, no further progress has been announced.
Following a lengthy design process and engagement with Dartmoor National Park planning department and an internal review of the business case, WDBC said that it intended to submit a planning application for the scheme.
The Council also said that it hoped that this application would be successful and, if it was, officers would be able to take a report to the HUB Committee and to Full Council for a decision as to whether to proceed to the detailed design, tender and ultimately construction of the project. It would represent an investment of over £2m by West Devon Borough Council. There are of course risks associated with it, including having to spend around £85,000 on detailed designs. At a Council meeting some time ago it was agreed to spend this money, so the project ought to be nearer to going ahead by now.
Should the project proceed to construction it would be self-financing using long term borrowing. Until a tender exercise is undertaken the actual cost of construction remains unknown, and only at that stage will the Council be able to make a final decision to move forward to construction.
Result of the Housing Needs Survey are published – August 2019
Brentor Parish Council released the following statement on 18th July 2019:
Figures have now been collated from the Housing Needs Survey conducted in July 2018 and the 2 public presentation days.
The presentations were very well attended and figures show that the development is oversubscribed by local people who will be eligible to live there.
The latest data indicates a need for 11 affordable homes and 6 open market homes, which meet the criteria for an affordable development as required by WDBC and DNPA. The planned development remains fixed at 12 properties.
Further progress has been slightly delayed due to the recent elections, but it is understood that the plans will be submitted to DNPA shortly with a planning decision expected in September. Construction should then commence late Autumn or early next year.
Support for Brentor’s Community Housing scheme
West Devon Borough Council issued the following news release on 4th June 2019, signalling their strong support for the construction of 12 new community houses in Brentor, at the Hammer Park site. This is part of a £4.3 million project, the other part being 17 new community houses in Lamerton.
Two community housing schemes have today been agreed by West Devon Borough Council’s Hub Committee.
The Community Housing Strategy was put in place to support the development of homes available to those people who have a local connection, but the homes are beyond their reach.
The lack of such housing is having a huge impact on the vitality and sustainability of local communities, with many locals having to relocate due to increasing housing costs.
Councillors have agreed to create a fund of £4.3 million by borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board with some internal funding, to build the first two community housing schemes which will deliver 29 residential homes.
Cllr Debo Sellis, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Homes, said: “I am delighted that the Council is taking direct action to help reduce the housing affordability challenges that the Borough faces.”
This represents the first direct delivery of new homes by the Council in a generation and will lead to the reintroduction of some Council-held housing stock.
The construction of the first two community housing projects will start with 12 homes in Brentor and a further 17 in Lamerton, subject to Parish Council Support.
These projects benefit from reduced land value by using exception site planning policy and are being delivered where the community has shown that there is a need for affordable housing and therefore they have the support of the community, Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan.
The properties will be available as a mix of different affordable options, to ensure that housing is truly affordable to rent or buy for local people. Some will be available to buy at a discount, some as affordable rented, and some available on the open market to make the projects financially viable.
Design and planning work is being met through a Government grant of £250,000 paid to West Devon in 2017 to help with the delivery of community housing schemes across the Borough.
A public presentation about proposals for affordable housing in Brentor has been arranged by Brentor Parish Council for 2nd March 2019 from 12.00pm to 3.00pm at Brentor Village Hall. The Parish Clerk sent the following letter for display on this website:-
A public presentation on the proposed Local Needs Housing development at Hammer Park Brentor, has been arranged for Saturday 2nd March following the Coffee Morning and continuing until 3pm.
Housing Officers from WDBC will be in attendance to outline the proposals and to answer questions which residents may have and which are not covered by the extensive information given at the moment on the village website, which covers the housing proposal.
Please try and attend and give your views on how you would like the building design to look, should this development proposal take place.
Brentor Parish Council
At the drop-in session about possible local needs housing, held at Brentor Village Hall on Saturday 17th November 2018, visitors were able to view concept layout plans for up to 12 houses at Hammer Park. They were also able to question representatives of the Parish Council and West Devon Borough Council about the proposals. The recent Brentor Parish housing needs survey has demonstrated that, with existing housing list members, there is demand for up to 12 new homes. These would be built at Hammer Park as a ‘small affordable housing exception site’ scheme, which allows for the building of principally affordable housing in the National Park.
The current landowner has generously agreed to provide the Hammer Park site for an extremely reasonable sum, which would therefore enable the houses to be truly affordable. A mix of perhaps three full market value homes (which would cross-subsidise the others), three discounted homes and six rented properties would in all likelihood make the scheme economically viable. Open market properties are commonly needed due to the decline of funding for local needs housing.
The full market value homes would be marketed only to people from Brentor Parish in the first instance, such as those wishing to downsize from their existing home. The discounted homes would be sold to local people at a much reduced price (which might be at about 40% discount, but in the future they could only be sold on for a similar discount to other local people). The rental properties would be rented only to people from the Parish initially.
In the future, if there were no takers for any of the properties from within the Parish they could only be occupied by people from within adjoining parishes, and if there was no demand from them, only by people from within the National Park. These properties will never be allowed to become second homes or holiday homes. The s106 planning agreement would include this detail to ensure that the properties were targeted for local people to the parish in perpetuity.
There would be a possibility of including some single-storey properties for the elderly if there is demand.
It was made clear that this development will only go ahead if there is support from people in Brentor, and this will probably need to be gauged by the Parish Council. If it does go ahead there would be full consultation about the mix of properties, their layout, materials and design. They would be well built, reflect the local vernacular, and be low-carbon emission. The properties would probably be built by West Devon Borough Council and retained by them as their own housing stock.
There are other possible housing sites in Brentor, such as the field behind the bus shelter in the village centre (which is currently listed by Dartmoor National Park as being suitable for development with up to 29 homes). If the site at Hammer Park were to go ahead the likelihood of development elsewhere in the village would be reduced for the foreseeable future. West Devon Borough Council and the Parish Council clearly understood the sensitivity of this issue and the feeling in the village that it will engender, but they explained that that there is considerable pressure from Government for each Parish area to provide housing for local needs.
If you need further information about this issue contact Alex Rehaag from the West Devon Borough Council housing team – tel 01822 813600. This issue will no doubt be discussed at forthcoming Parish Council meetings – details of these are on the Parish Council pages of this website.
Watch this space for more information as it emerges.
At rather short notice, West Devon Borough Council has organised a drop-in session to be held at Brentor Village Hall from 1.00pm to 3.00pm on Saturday 17th November 2018. The Council released the information below on facebook at about 3.30pm on Monday 12th November 2018. Alex Rehaag from West Devon Borough Council’s housing team will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions.
Although there has been no obvious movement for some time, the subject of Affordable Housing is still very much an ongoing matter. Added to this there is increasing pressure from central government for the National Parks to allow development in villages.
The Dartmoor National Park Land Availability Assessment (LAA) Review completed in September 2017 has identified two sites in Brentor that could be used for housing. These are the site adjacent to the road at Hammer Park, identified for five or six dwellings, and the site behind the bus shelter in the centre of North Brentor village, identified for between 19 and 29 dwellings. (This of course does not imply that planning permission would necessarily be granted since the sites identified have noted constraints). The LAA review report can be seen by clicking here.
Possible sites for affordable housing in Brentor
The village of North Brentor has been identified by Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNP) as a rural settlement where the provision of a small number of affordable houses to meet an identified local need could be permitted. Suitable sites will be within or adjoining the settlement and well related to the existing buildings.
- Following an appeal for suitable sites for affordable housing nine locations were put forward by the deadline of 30th September 2013. These were initially assessed by the Community Council of Devon and have already been visited by representatives of Dartmoor National Park Authority Planning, West Devon Borough Council, and the Community Council of Devon, accompanied by Brentor Parish Councillors. Following this, the Dartmoor National Park Authority has produced an assessment of all the sites and a shortlist of those considered to merit further investigation. All these documents are available on this website from the ‘Affordable Housing – Background documents’ section below.
- The sites put forward and a shortlist from these were discussed at a special Parish Council meeting on Monday 24th February 2014.
- A drop in session, where parishioners were able to ask questions about the affordable housing on a one-to-one basis with Parish Councillors, representatives of DNP and WDBC etc, was held on 17th March 2014 and was attended by some 80 parishioners, many of whom filled in feedback forms for the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Planners. The sites map and consultation/background document available at the session and a feedback form are all available to view or download from the ‘Affordable Housing – Background documents’ section below.
Tim Beavon, Chair of the Brentor Parish Council, provided the following update on 17th April 2014:The initial assessment by DNPA of the sites put forward concluded that site 9 was undeliverable following a report that the land price required was too high. In response to receiving a letter advising him that the site was considered undeliverable the owner has been in contact with DNPA and confirmed that affordable housing land prices are acceptable to him, making the site an option for affordable housing. DNPA has therefore revised its report, also updating some inconsistencies drawn to its attention at the consultation event. The revised report is available below in the ‘background documents’ section.
A question and answer session was held at the Village Hall on 12 May 2014, where planning officers from DNPA, the Housing Officer from West Devon Borough Council and the Community Council of Devon’s Rural Housing Enabler answered questions about the plans for affordable housing. DNPA has completed a summary of the feedback received by 8 April on the possible sites for affordable housing. This is available in the ‘background documents’ section below. Since receiving the feedback site 9, land at Station View, has been reassessed as deliverable therefore DNPA was able to accept further comments on this site.
- Further discussion about affordable housing took place at a Parish Council Meeting on Monday 19th May 2014. The three Parish Councillors not affected by a declaration of interest were asked to rank the five shortlisted sites in order of preference and the result of the voting was as follows, in order of preference:- Site 2 (War Memorial), site 3 (Shell Park), Site 1 (Hammer Park), Site 4 (Station Road) and site 9 (Station View). This order of preference has been passed on to the Dartmoor National Park Authority planners. The full minutes of the Parish Council meeting are available in the ‘Parish Council’ pages of this website.
- The Dartmoor National Park Authority planners wrote to the owners/developers of the shortlisted sites, asking them to fill in a questionnaire about the deliverability of their sites – a copy of this letter and the questionnaire are available below in the ‘background documents’ section.
- DNPA has now provided its report on the responses made by landowners to the questionnaire on whether the sites can be developed to provide affordable housing in a reasonable period of time. The report is available below and is also pinned on the village notice board outside the village hall.
- Officers from DNPA and WDBC attended the parish council meeting on Monday 15 September and responded to questions about the report. DNPA also reported that an outline planning application had been submitted for the development of 12 houses at the Hammer Park site. Not all of the requirements regarding the drawings and supporting information were met at the time of the meeting but the application was validated on 17 October 2014 and was published online in the DNPA planning applications list. A site notice was displayed advertising where the plans can be viewed, and how to comment on the plans. A notice was also placed in the local newspaper. A copy of the planning application was placed in the village hall. Copies of all the documents can be viewed on the planning section of DNPA’s website as well as at DNPA’s offices. Anyone wishing to comment on the application had to do so by writing direct to DNPA or submitting comments online by 14 November 2014.
The application was considered by the Parish Council at its meeting on 17 November 2014. Dartmoor National Park authority put on hold any further work on the call for sites exercise until the planning application was determined.
- The Chair of Brentor Parish Council, Sheila Burrows, wrote, as an insert for the Brentor News: ‘Dartmoor National Park Development & Planning Committee met on the 9th January 2015 and refused Planning Application 0606/14 for outline planning permission for 12 affordable homes on a site at Hammer Park. The need for affordable homes in Brentor remains, therefore DNPA Planning Officers and representatives from West Devon Borough Council and Devon Communities Together (formerly Community Council of Devon) are seeking to explain the next stage of the planning process at the earliest opportunity.
Many challenges remain in fulfilling this process and therefore an additional meeting of the Parish Council is being called where the above representatives will explain what are likely to be the next steps. A period of purdah due to forthcoming local council elections starts on 22nd March 2015, so there is little time available.’ Therefore the Parish Council is taking the opportunity to call an additional meeting on Monday 16th February 2015 at Brentor Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.
- For further general information about affordable housing contact the Rural Housing Enabler, Sue Southwell, at Devon Communities Together, telephone 01392 248919 ext 122.
- The Dartmoor National Park Land Availability Assessment (LAA) Review completed in September 2017 has identified two sites in Brentor that could be used for housing. These are the site adjacent to the road at Hammer Park, identified for five or six dwellings, and the site behind the bus shelter in the centre of North Brentor village, identified for between 19 and 29 dwellings. (This of course does not imply that planning permission would necessarily be granted since the sites identified have noted constraints). The LAA review report can be seen by clicking here.
Affordable housing – related documents
The following links are for documents which relate to the topic of affordable housing in Brentor. Click on them to go to the relevant website and document:
Brentor Housing Needs Survey Report, February 2011, produced by the Community Council for Devon on behalf of the Devon Rural Housing Partnership
Brentor Housing Needs Survey comments, February 2011. Comments provided by respondents to the survey to question C8 of the Brentor Housing Needs Survey. Please note that these are unedited comments and are provided on this website in response to a request to the current Parish Council by a local parishioner. This document was released by the Community Council for Devon in response to a request by the Parish Council.
General information about affordable housing on the Dartmoor National Park website
Dartmoor National Park Development Plan on the Dartmoor National Park website
Dartmoor National Park Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), relating to Affordable Housing in Dartmoor National Park, from the Dartmoor National Park website
Brentor Affordable Housing Sites assessment produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
Brentor Housing Needs Survey Report produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
17th March 2014 drop-in session background/consultation document, produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
(Left) Annotated plan of sites put forward for consideration, produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority and displayed at the 17th March 2014drop-in session.
Click on the plan to see an enlarged version
Housing sites consultation feedback form produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Use this form to send your comments on affordable housing to the Dartmoor National Park planners.
Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Assessment (revised April 2014) – the latest Sites Assessment produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Shortlist (revised April 2014) – the latest Sites Shortlist produced by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
Brentor Affordable Housing Sites Final Feedback Summary– feedback from the 8th April 2014 drop-in session, compiled by the Dartmoor National Park Authority (final amended version made available on 12th May 2014)
Letter to the owners of shortlisted sites – a letter from the Senior Forward Planner at Dartmoor National Park Authority to the owners/developers of the shortlisted sites for affordable housing in Brentor, introducing the questionnaire below
Questionnaire about the shortlisted sites – sent for completion by the Dartmoor National Park Authority to the owners/developers of the shortlisted affordable housing sites in Brentor (this has to be returned to the Authority by 1st August 2014)
Review of landowner’s returns – compiled by the Dartmoor National Park Authority from the responses to the questionnaire about the shortlisted sites
Planning Application for Site 1 (Hammer Park) – published on the Dartmoor National Part Authority website on 17 October 2014. (This link takes you to the Planning section of the DNPA website – first accept the terms on the first page and then text search for ‘Hammer Park’ or enter the application number, 0606/14 to view the application).