To receive an update from Wiltshire Council’s Housing Assets and New Developments Team.
Laura Young, Residential Development Manager from Wiltshire Council’s Estate and Development Team, provided an update about the development of affordable, sheltered and community led housing in the Area Broad. The manager explained that Wiltshire Council owned a large amount of housing stock in the south of the county and was looking to increase the stock through social rent and shared ownership schemes. As well as building new properties the council were planning to buy back former social houses that had been sold through the right to buy scheme. The team were also supporting the building of houses in rural areas by working closely with parish councils. The relatively recent completion of schemes in East Knoyle and Mere were given as examples of where additional social housing had been delivered.
The manager explained that a review of sheltered housing was underway to address the relatively poor energy efficiency of existing of existing properties and to ensure that they were suitable for modern living. Plans for improvement consisted of refurbishing property that was in a suitable location and seeking to build new development to replace stock that was not in a suitable location for residents. It was noted that conversations had taken place with residents at Lynch Close in Mere and Clays Orchard in Fovant to find out what residents liked about their accommodation and what they felt could be improved. The manager was keen to stress that proposals for a new sheltered scheme in Mere were detached from its review of existing sheltered housing.
An update was provided on the progress made towards the community led housing projects in Broad Chalke and Tisbury. The manager reported that White Horse Housing Association had been chosen as the designated provider for the six new houses being built in Broad Chalke and that the process of submitting planning was now underway. It was explained that Nadder Community Land Trust had acquired land from the council in Tisbury. It had been agreed with Stone Circle Development Company that six properties could be purchased for social housing use on the development and that they would also be run through White Horse Housing Association.
During the discussion the following points were made:
• Members thanked the manager for the update.
• It was noted that a number of affordable housing units had been delivered through private developments, with a total of 38 units delivered between April 2016 and March 2021.
• The manager explained that it was beneficial for community projects to share their experiences to help project in other areas.
• In response to a question about how many affordable units would be delivered at the Beaumont Business Centre development in Mere, it was explained that there were planned to be 21 units, but this was subject to review to ensure the viability of the project.
• The manager confirmed that Wiltshire Council’s ambition to deliver an extra 1000 affordable homes across the county over the next decade was a net target.
• When asked about whether the standards of new sheltered accommodation would be the same as delivered in the new Evergreen Court development in Amesbury, the manager confirmed that all new developments would meet that standard.
• In response to concerns about affordable housing units being purchased at a reduced rate and then sold on at full market price, the manager reported that the Section 106 agreements contained a mechanism to prevent re-sale at full market rates within certain timescales. She also confirmed that the right to buy scheme remained in place.
• The Chairman of Fovant Parish Council stated that they would welcome further engagement on the Clays Orchard sheltered housing scheme.