Call for Sites for Rural Exception Affordable Housing

Call for Sites for Local Needs Homes

In December 2019, Boxted Parish Council supported a parish wide housing needs survey (posted to every household) by an independent Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) from the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE). This survey identified that there is a need for a small number of homes for local people in Boxted and the Parish Council and RCCE are exploring how a small scheme of around seven affordable homes for local people could be brought forward.  This may include a range and combination of one-bedroom flats to 3-bedroom homes, depending on the needs of local people.

‘Local’ generally means a person who is;

  • Currently resident in the parish
  • Was previously resident in the parish
  • Is permanently employed in the parish
  • Is connected by close family still living in the parish

As a result of the evidence gathered, the Parish Council are keen to pursue a ‘Rural Exception Site’. These schemes are built on land which would not usually be allocated by the planning authority for housing but can be considered for affordable housing to meet a proven local need.  These must be sites that are contiguous with or adjacent to existing village settlement boundaries. (See Page 14 of Boxted Neighbourhood Plan)

The aim of affordable housing is to provide homes for people who cannot afford to buy or rent a home on the open market. The term includes rented and affordable home ownership. New affordable homes help sustain communities by offering local families, couples and single people the chance to stay living in the place where they have strong connections. This can be those who aspire to their first / independent home or those who wish to downsize.

The proposed homes will be for rent and shared ownership sale and can never be sold on the open market, remaining as homes only for locals forever. The Parish Council is currently looking at possible suitable sites in the Parish and there will be full Consultation on any proposals.

We would also like to hear from Landowners who might have a suitable site for an affordable housing proposal. Ideally, it would be a site of around one acre in size. As this is an exception site for local people, the land does not hold the same value as ‘normal’ or open market development. It is often put forward to support local needs would be at an exception site rate or in some cases, land is gifted as a legacy to the Community by landowners who wish to support such projects.

Please submit details of your site to the Parish Council Clerk (boxtedparishcouncil@gmail.com) – Deadline Wednesday 6th January 2021.