PARSON DROVE: Plea by village for help in providing homes for local people

PUBLISHED: 11:33 02 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:46 29 April 2010

parson Drove GV's

parson Drove GV's

AN appeal has gone out to landowners in Parson Drove to help create up to 10 affordable homes for local people. At the same time, villagers who are now struggling to stay there are being urged to put their names on the housing register immediately to de

AN appeal has gone out to landowners in Parson Drove to help create up to 10 affordable homes for local people.

At the same time, villagers who are now struggling to stay there are being urged to put their names on the housing register immediately to demonstrate the pressing need for the project.

The parish council is working with Fenland District Council to find a way of building the homes, which would be reserved exclusively for people who either live in the village or have strong links with it.

The aim is to build between eight and 10 new homes on what is called an "Exception Site", in which priority is given to housing locals.

To achieve that, suitable land has first to be found and firm evidence provided of the need. Then permission can be sought from Fenland District Council's planning committee.

The committee can make a special exception to normal planning policy for an affordable development for local people. It can grant a special planning permission that is not available to a commercial housing developer.

Parson Drove parish council is appealing to local landowners to help make this possible. "We need to find land that is part of the village but is not normally available for building homes because it needs to be much cheaper than normal development land," said Gavin Booth, the council's chairman.

"So if you have land that you would be willing to release for the long-term benefit of the community, please let the parish council know by August 31."

Once information about land has been collected, the parish council will assess it against a fixed set of criteria and liaise with the planners at Fenland District Council.

The parish council urged people needing homes in the village to put their names immediately on the housing register, now called Home-Link.

Mr Booth said: "Past surveys conducted in the village have shown there is a longstanding need in the village for homes for local people. However, to justify building these new homes, we have to back those findings up with new statistics from the Home-Link register.

"So if you are a local family or individual struggling to stay in the village, register now with Home-Link. Go to www.home-link.org.uk or visit the village post office or any of the Fenland@yourservice shops to complete a form. And make sure you answer question 37, relating to rural local connection."

Anyone who has land they might be willing to release for this project should call Yvonne Reader, the parish council clerk, on 01945 700501 or email theclerk@parsondrove-pc.org.uk .

For more information about the rules relating to Exception Sites, call Karen Wickham, Fenland District Council's housing strategy officer, on 01354 622584 or email kwickham@fenland.gov.uk


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