Skinners' Meadow Threat?
The future ownership of Denton's Affordable Housing is uncertain.
Four year's ago, in 2011, Denton was celebrating the completion and occupation of the six new properties in Skinners' Meadow. Built by the Saffron Housing Trust, thanks to a generous provision of land by Malcolm and Janet Skinner, the objective had been to provide some affordable housing, rented and shared equity, to replace the former council houses sold off under right-to-buy legislation.
It had been assumed that the status of the accommodation would be permanent but in the run-up to the last election the Conservatives stated they wanted to extend the right-to-buy to Housing Association tenants. Then, in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that five HAs would be trialing the new system starting in the New Year. A few days later he announced that one of the five, the only one serving a rural area, is Saffron.
Details of the new legislation, The Housing and Planning Bill 2015, are still emerging but it is hoped that the promised exceptions to the right-to-buy will take account of the special circumstances in rural areas like South Norfolk. Our district councillor Murray Gray, who played a prominent role in promoting the Council's affordable housing programme, is taking a close interest in this latest development. He has been pressing for schemes like Denton's to be protected.
Details of the history of the project can be found in the 2011 pages of the History Section.