News from the Community Land Trust
Wednesday, 1 August 2018
Hebden Bridge development a step nearer
We have just paid Calderdale council's planning department the hefty sum of £9,240. It's a lot of money, but it is necessary expenditure and it's in a good cause – this is what it costs in planning fees to apply for planning permission for twenty new homes.
High Street plans
Yes, after more than three years of detailed planning, we have reached the point where our application to bring homes back to one of Hebden Bridge's earliest settled areas (the hillside above Bridge Lanes and off Heptonstall Road) has gone in for planning permission. We now have detailed plans for how the residential road once known as High Street can live again, as one-, two- and three-bedroom homes for renting at affordable rents.
We'd hoped to submit the application a couple of months ago, but after our April consultations – and in particular some detailed feedback from neighbours - we went back to the architects and asked them to make the development less intensive. What was originally going to be 27 homes is now going to be twenty – still very much worth doing, we think. And we're excited by the sustainable architecture which is being proposed. These are, after all, going to be homes for Hebden Bridge people for all of the rest of the twenty-first century!
PS, We may be a charity but unfortunately community-led housing organisations like ours still have to pay the same in planning fees as commercial developers. We checked, of course, but those national government rules just can't be changed, apparently.
The planning timeframe
So what happens next? Firstly, Calderdale's planners have to 'validate' the application (make sure that all the correct documents have been supplied, etc). Once this has happened – likely to be a few weeks away – the application will be live. All our detailed reports and plans will be available online from Calderdale's planning portal. And that's when you'll be able to submit your own comments on the proposal. We will send out a newsletter as soon as validation is completed.
Community Share issue
We are currently expecting the planning process to be over by November. What this means is that we expect to launch our Community Share issue, which has had to be temporarily put back because of the planning delay, in November or very early December. Again, more details soon – and, if you are one of our more than thirty would-be investors, thank you for your patience.
Our August public meeting is on Weds 22 August
It's really not acceptable that many new homes built by commercial developers are poor quality and lacking in many basic elements of good environmental design. The CLT has signed up to the 10 Principles of One Planet Living which have been drawn up by the not-for-profit Bioregional, and if you're interested you can access our full sustainability statement on our website here.
This is an issue which we know is close to the hearts of many of our members and supporters, so we're very pleased to be able to invite you to a Public Meeting, on Weds August 22nd (7.30pm, HB Town Hall).
The title of the public meeting is
"Making New Housing Sustainable and Energy Efficient"
We have three speakers to start off the evening's discussions, each of them with considerable experience of taking practical steps to improve the sustainability and environmental effectiveness of new house design.
Duncan Roberts will be coming down from Tyneside to be with us. An architect by background, he has been very involved in recent years in the work of the celebrated Centre for Alternative Technology, in Machynlleth, mid-Wales.
Marianne Heaslip is an architect too, and she has also spent time at CAT. She works now for URBED, Urbanism Environment Design, where among other things she is involved in auditing a radical new building development in south London in terms of energy use, carbon and comfort alongside issues of regeneration, urban design and resident health, happiness and wellbeing.
Andy Brown, our third speaker, will be coming to Hebden Bridge for the meeting from Cambridge where he offers advice on energy issues as a member of the Cambridge Architectural Research group. Andy also has an activist track-record, most recently as a key member of the Cambridge-based community initiative to reduce carbon emissions, Carbon Conversations.
Please note that for the August public meeting is on a Wednesday. Our September and October public meetings will return to Mondays (Sep 24th, Oct 29th).
Calder Valley CLT in the news
Our success in becoming one of the very few CLTs in the country to have been granted 'Registered Provider' status by the Regulator of Social Housing means that we are being asked to share our experiences with a wide range of other CLTs and community-led housing groups.
Our Secretary Andrew Bibby was recently down in north London, for example, speaking at a housing event arranged by the national development trust charity Locality. We also fed back to the Regulator of Social Housing and Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government about our experience of becoming regulated.
We have recently been invited to present our plans to Homes England staff.
We have been awarded a small grant which will enable us to pay a marketing/PR person for the period of the community share issue, and will be shortly tendering for this work. Please contact us if you have the necessary skills and would like to participate in the tender, or if you can recommend someone you think we should know about.
We are also interested in strengthening the board of trustees by bringing in someone with a strong marketing background. If you fit the bill and are interested in discussing becoming a trustee, please get in touch.
The email as ever is firstname.lastname@example.org
Previously, on the HebWeb
HebWeb News: Public Meeting: So what's all this about a Housing Crisis? (May 2018)
HebWeb News: Calder Valley Community Land Trust receives major grant (April 2017)
HebWeb News: Affordable housing project (Jan 2017)
HebWeb News: £37,000 grant will help Hebden Bridge get affordable housing (Dec 2016)
HebWeb News: Can the ghost houses of Hebden Bridge be brought back to life? (Feb 2016)
HebWeb News: Calder Valley Community Land Trust celebrates its first birthday (Sept 2015)