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Sparsholt Parish Plan Housing Policy Update - 7th November 2011

on Tue, 08/11/2011 - 5:10pm

Following analysis of the results of the housing questions in the Parish Plan Questionnaire, a statement has been prepared which is intended to express the parish's view of future housing. This statement will be incorporated into the eventual Parish Plan:-


HOUSING

Parish residents were asked whether they supported the building of new houses, either in open spaces or as infill (Infill refers to the infilling of a small gap – ie big enough for one or at most two houses set in plots of a broadly similar width to next door - within an otherwise built-up frontage or group of houses) between other properties.

From the results, it was very clear that the majority of residents would not want:

  • Any new houses outside of existing built up areas (71% against).
  • Developments of more than 5 properties (only 5% support).
  • Flats and apartments (only 6% support).
  • New buildings for business premises (only 10% support).

More than half of the residents (53%) do not support the building of any new dwellings in the parish. 35% of residents are prepared to consider new houses built between existing properties (infill) at appropriate places. This being subject to other criteria being met such as planning, drainage, access and the preservation or enhancement of the existing character or appearance of the area.

Residents were asked questions about types and size of housing, size of development and the conversion of existing farm buildings. The results showed that:

  • 29% wished to see developments of single dwellings and 22% would consider a development of up to 5 properties (although existing guidelines limit developments to 2 dwellings).
  • 37% preferred that new dwellings be privately owned although there was some lesser support for shared ownership (20%) and social rented (14%).
  • A large majority of those prepared in principle to accept development favoured properties, both bungalows and houses, of up to 4 bedrooms; there was less support for properties of 5 bedrooms or more.
  • There was significant support (74%) for the conversion of farm buildings into homes
  • There was support (42%) for the conversion of existing farm buildings for business use.

Conclusion

The housing survey findings correlate with the overwhelmingly positive view of Sparsholt Parish as a small rural community set in a quiet and peaceful environment on the north side of the Berkshire Downs with the historic springline village of Sparsholt, protected by a conservation area, at its heart.

They also appear to demonstrate recognition that Sparsholt is a small parish (population circa 300; households 138) without a shop, a school or a playing field and with restricted public transport services. The Parish Plan housing policy set out below uses the evidence gathered in the survey, acknowledges the majority view that no further housing development should be accommodated in the parish but also recognises that there may be opportunities that arise to accommodate some limited additional housing within the built-up limits of the parish without causing material harm to the established character of the rural parish.

HOUSING POLICY

IF ANY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IS TO TAKE PLACE IN SPARSHOLT PARISH, NEW HOUSES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED AS INFILLING; THAT IS, NORMALLY NOT MORE THAT ONE OR TWO DWELLINGS (MAXIMUM FOUR BEDROOMS) FILLING A SMALL GAP BETWEEN EXISTING PROPERTIES WITH IN THE EXISTING BUILT-UP AREA OF SPARSHOLT PARISH. DEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING ON ANY EXCEPTIONAL GROUNDS OUTSIDE OR ADJACENT TO THE EXISTING BUILT-UP AREA OF THE VILLAGE WILL BE OPPOSED.


An earlier draft was considered at an open meeting in the Star on 2nd November and many comments and suggestions were considered.  The revised statement on housing is available as a PDF download below. 

The statement is consistent with the results of the questionnaire and much care has been taken to ensure that the conclusion and proposed policy are based only on the survey results. 

If there are any final comments on the attached statement, please send them to [email protected]

There will be a final open meeting to explain the statement on Monday 14th November in the Star at 7.30pm.

Submitted by Jorge M, Parish Plan Steering Group, 8/11/11