A number of Holme on Spalding Moor (HOSM) residents have contacted me regarding the Parish Council’s proposals for 23 affordable houses in the village, this was after details of the proposals were published in the Parish Council magazine (the Grapevine). Of the 24 homes 19 are for rent and 4 can be for shared ownership (part mortgage and part rental)
An exhibition of the Affordable Housing proposals, was planned, and is still to take place at the Holme Gala to be held on 18th July 2010 at the Village Hall, where residents will have the opportunity to see the full details, ask questions and comment.
Due to the number of people contacting the Parish Council an additional meeting for residents is to be held prior to the Gala event on Thursday 15th JULY at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall.
The issue with residents appears to be two fold:
The identified need and whether the affordable housing is for local residents (this is an issue I feel able to discuss below)
The location of the proposed site (As I sit on the planning committee that will determine the any future planning application I am unable to put forward an opinion or discuss prior to the planning meeting - although I can listen)
The case for affordable housing in Holme on Spalding Moor
I fully support the Parish Council in what they have done to attract this potential investment into the village to address one of the most important issues facing the community – that of affordable housing for local people. It is increasingly difficult for young people to find accommodation in rural villages because of both availability and cost, and these homes would go a long way to address this.
At present East Riding of Yorkshire Council had 38 applications on the waiting list for houses in HOSM, and a over 350 applicants requesting consideration for re-housing into the village as one of their areas of choice. But the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has just 45 properties in the village – almost all occupied.
In areas such as HOSM, where homes are required, much new affordable housing is linked to new housing developments where a proportion of those new houses are affordable. But this can mean that unless there is allocated building land in the village, there is little scope for building the required affordable properties.
This can be overcome by working in partnership with specialist affordable housing providers who can build on Green Field sites, and this is exactly what we are seeing with the Parish Council’s proposals. Whether the proposed site is the most appropriate in the village is open to debate.
HOSM Parish Council should be congratulated on obtaining the funding as it is dependant on the communities bidding for affordable housing to match the identified need – I recognise that villages want to grow by allowing children to leave home to live alone or with spouses/partners, without leaving their communities. Allowing young people to remain in the villages in which they grew up is a very important element of community cohesion in most rural settlements.
This is why it is important that local people, such as the HOSM Parish Council, who through the Parish Plan, have identified the housing requirements of residents, make decisions on affordable housing. The affordable housing as proposed is a mixture of not just rented accommodation, but also ‘Homebuy’ shared ownership – which means young people, who would not have the opportunity to conventionally get onto the first rung of the property ladder, then have the opportunity through this shared ownership – paying part rent and part mortgage.
So, in a nutshell, if affordable housing is to be provided in rural villages, the priority must be given to those who have a connection with the village, rather than further afield. This can only improve the village by allowing people to live and stay in their own community, and I fully support Holme on Spalding Moor Parish Council in what they are doing in this area.