Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Affordable Housing

The Final Final Act - May 2012

The time capsule promised by Saffron to record the completion of the project was buried in the middle of the site on Monday May 21st. The plaque recording the event bears the date of August 1st 2011 (and suggests the capsule should be opened in 50 year's time), but better late than never.

The Final Act - August 2011

It's happened! The new tenants, all of whom have very close links to the village, received their keys of their new homes on Tuesday, 2nd August, and are moving in. It has been a long, at times tortuous, process but congratulations both to the new residents and to everyone who has contributed to this great achievement.

The Latest Position - June 2011

After delays caused by the appalling early-winter weather, the buildings were completed some time ago. The original forecast for completion was April but, unfortunately, there have been serious problems providing electrical supplies to the properties.

A new substation is required and there have been difficulties obtaining the necessary planning permission with objections from neighbouring residents.

However at long last, after various hiccups, South Norfolk's Planning Committee aproved the application on June 15th. An electrical supply to the site has already been provided so installation of the substation itself can now go ahead. It is hoped that the new housing will be ready for occupation by the end of July

Background

The need for more affordable housing in Denton has been recognised for many years. The Parish Council has been battling away on this issue and, at last, the solution is in sight.

Originally there were 24 properties provided for rent in the village by the District Council. However, Right-to-Buy legislation introduced in the 70s has seen this number reduced by two thirds. There are now very few houses for rent becoming available and the increase in house values has put almost all accommodation in Denton out of the reach of the first-time buyer.

South Norfolk DC, who had been prevented from building any new council houses by the government, transferred all their remaining housing stock to what is now the Saffron Housing Trust, a Housing Association, in 2004. HAs are able to build new affordable housing and Saffron now have a special scheme to support villages like Denton. After one false start, caused by other planning issues in the village, a needs survey was carried out in the village in 2008 to establish how many people were likely to require affordable housing of some kind. Affordable housing includes; social housing for rent and various forms of owner occupation, including shared-equity and dedicated reduced-price schemes. The results of the survey, conducted by South Norfolk Council, showed that at least five new units of accommodation were needed.

At the begining of 2009 Saffron produced a draft scheme. The initial sketch-plan showed a layout for six new units in a cul-de-sac off Norwich Road on the west side next to Thanksgiving Cottage. The properties comprised two one-bedroomed flats, two two-bedroomed semi-detached houses and two detached three-bedroomed houses. This is one more unit than indicated by the needs survey but this “extra” house has been welcomed by the Parish Council particularly as initially it will be made available on a shared equity basis while the rest are offered for rent.

A representative of Saffron Housing reported to the April 2009 meeting of the Parish Council with a revised layout for the scheme and a further report was made to the June meeting. Councillors expressed their concerns over the latest site layout and design proposals. However, as reported above, at long last all these concerns have now been overcome.

With the agreement of a local landowner a suitable site, on Norwich Road, was identified and Saffron produced detailed plans for the development which was presented at a well attended public consultation event in the Village Hall in October 2009.

The Parish Council held a special meeting in November to consider the application on November 30th and and gave it their support. An objection from county highways caused a delay but an agreement to provide a speed limit in Norwich Road overcame this and planning permission was given in February 2010.

The Scheme

The scheme provides for two pairs of semi-detached houses, three two-bedroomed and one three-bedroomed and a pair of single-bedroomed flats. In recognition of the landowner who provided the land, the development is to be called "Skinners' Meadow".

When the new properties are built they will be offered to those on the Housing Waiting List maintained by South Norfolk Council. Priority will be given first to people currently living in the village, then to those living elsewhere with a direct link to Denton, e.g. those who were brought up here and have had to move away because of the shortage of suitable local accommodation, and only then to people living in the surrounding area. It is hoped that anyone with a potential interest in one of these properties will make sure that they are on the Waiting List.

The original development timetable was:

The application number is 2009/1711.

The easiest way to see the plans is to go to the South Norfolk District Council Website and enter the application number.

These houses are intended for local people but they can only be allocated to people who have been on the local Housing Register for at least six months.

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