Category: Uncategorized

Spring Newsletter

Lune Walk in Halton

This development of 20 affordable eco ‘Passivhaus’ homes at Lune Walk on Mill Lane continues to attract media and Housing Industry attention.  It is spreading the word that it is possible to build high quality homes without costing the earth, by adopting high standards of construction and insulation. The resulting homes stay warm with significantly less energy requirements,  thereby avoiding fuel poverty, and have a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The scheme has now won three national housing awards: Best Small Housing Scheme, Best Partnership, and Best Sustainable, Low carbon Design and a regional award: Energy Efficiency Award North-West for Regional Newbuild Project of the Year. You may have seen Lune Walk featuring as an outstanding example of social housing, in an Autumn Channel 4 documentary on ‘Achieving Net Zero’ with Kevin Macleod. Also, it appears on the Everything Electric YouTube channel, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDoHWu98fy4

We are keen to help deliver more developments like this. Kathy Beaton, Principal Housing Strategy Officer from Lancaster City Council, has said: “Demand for affordable housing since the pandemic is off the Richter scale. We want to do more..”

So, if you would like to see more affordable housing development, can see land that could be used, or existing buildings that might be converted to homes, get in touch with us, and help support the delivery of affordable eco homes for local people.

 

Public Green Spaces

The CLT worked with the Parish Council, helping to prepare the ‘Green Spaces’ part of its Neighbourhood Plan, promoting the protection of green corridors and green spaces.  If you are interested in better community use of local green spaces, or developing local food-growing initiatives, we would love to hear from you.

 

Future Plans

We are planning a Road Show to take to various venues in the Lune Valley this year. We aim to share our experiences, in the hope of encouraging other groups to initiate affordable, energy-efficient housing projects to meet the needs of local people.

The General Meeting planned for Thursday April 25th in Halton Mill has been postponed.

 

Get in touch with us at: info@lunevallyclt.org    www.lunevalleyclt.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin McLeod visits site with Channel $

Channel 4 have visited with Kevin McLeod and Lancaster City Council to talk about how our site is an example of best practice that everyone should be using.
We now have the road sign ( the finishing touch) all tenants are in, all Shared Ownerships are now sold or in the process of sale and there is a grand formal opening on 6th July.
Our AGM is on 26th June at Halton Centre and will include a brainstorm on Green Spaces at the end – say at 8 or 8.05 pm. All are welcome.
We are also looking for extra directors so if anyone would like to stand as a director, we are particularly seeking social media and finance skills, please contact us for a chat about it.

Latest picture from the Mill Lane site

Picture from site as the scaffolding comes down, so you can see the finished look and the space. They should be finished in November!

To apply for one of the 13 affordable rented homes on Mill Lane, you must be on the Lancaster City Council Housing Register: www.lancaster.gov.uk/housing/councl-housing/apply-for-a-home

South Lakes Housing is managing applications for the 7 shared ownership homes. To apply, contact development@southlakeshousing.co.uk  Tel. 0300303854

Lune Valley CLT Annual General Meeting Wednesday June 22nd 2022

All are welcome at our Annual General Meeting at Halton Community Centre, Low Road, Halton at 7.30pm on Wednesday June 22nd. Come and hear about the progress on the 20 affordable passivhauses being built on Mill Lane, Halton. If you are not already a member, there will be an opportunity to join; and if you are keen to become more involved, this is your chance to find out more about becoming a trustee.

 

December 2021

Newsletter   Winter 2021 The Mill Lane affordable community homes development is rapidly taking shape.

 

Construction continues to progress well, with the highly insulated foundations completed and the ‘Passivhaus’  and ‘low embodied carbon’ timber frames being erected. Tysons, the contractor, plan to complete on schedule, in August 2022.

To apply for one of the 13 affordable rented homes on Mill Lane, you must be on the Lancaster City Council Housing Register: www.lancaster.gov.uk/housing/councl-housing/apply-for-a-home

South Lakes Housing is managing applications for the 7 shared ownership homes. To apply, contact development@southlakeshousing.co.uk  Tel. 03003038540

 

Road Adoption: We are delighted to report that Forge Lane has now been adopted by Lancashire County Council.  Mill Lane adoption is still being processed.

 

The training session on passivhaus design and construction that was held during Big Green Week, September 18th-26th was very popular, with more than 40 people attending. Construction accounts for 40% of UK carbon emissions.  This is the reason that the industry has been set 80% carbon reduction targets by the UK government, as part of the changes needed to tackle climate change.  Hopefully high quality passivhaus-standard homes will soon be the norm.

 

The CLT continues to receive requests to visit the site. Recently, Caldervale CLT paid a visit to the Mill Lane site to find out more about Passivhaus standards and partnering with a Housing Association to create affordable high-quality homes.

We now have a short film about the project, made by a local film company, Forgebank Films.  The Youtube link is https://youtu.be/ESG8Jufm9-E and it is on the Home Page of our website – please take a look and encourage others to view it too. It shows the power of partnerships, when local people work together with a willing Council and enthusiastic Housing Association.

Autumn 2021

Things have moved on quickly – following a successful application for planning permission, construction started on the Mill Lane site in April 2021 of 20 *passivhaus homes. The build is progressing rapidly. The highly insulated foundations have been completed and timber frames are arriving and being erected each week. Tysons, the contractor, plan to complete on schedule in August/September 2022.

May update and consultation

The Covid-19 emergency and lock-down: Effect on our Mill Lane, Halton scheme

In spite of the lock-down, members of our team continue to work on the various project strands remotely, and have meetings virtually when needed. Work is a bit slower, and some organisations supporting us are very pre-occupied with the emergency, so some dates have gone back. The situation is not directly under our control, and increases uncertainty, but this is mainly about delay, and further delays may emerge.


Consultation

Since the CLT members’ drop-in on Monday February 17th, we have carried-out further site surveys, reviewed and further developed the site layout and the internal layouts of the homes, getting agreement through regular design team meetings on Zoom. We plan to submit the scheme for Lancaster City Council Planning Permission towards the end of May.

To carry-out our community consultation before planning submission, we have created website to explain our plans and to allow people to comment, since a physical consultations are not possible at present.

The invitation is going out via a pamphlet drop to all neighbouring homes on Mill Lane, Forge Lane and Forgebank Walk, plus local posters, and emails to the CLT’s mailing list, plus neighbouring businesses and organisations, and posts on the Lune Valley CLT and Halton-on-Lune Facebook sites.

We ask for responses by 17th May. 

Alongside the consultation and planning preparation work, we continue to work with our partner South Lakes Housing on the legal work, and grant funding. Lancaster City Council continue to be very supportive.

We are also assisting those involved with Forge Lane and Mill Lane Road adoption. Things are moving forward slowly and hopefully we will see more progress on both roads soon.

If you have any questions, or want to register an interest in a possible home on the Mill Lane site, please contact us at:  info@lunevalleyclt.org

January Update

STOP PRESS!

The option agreement to buy the Mill Lane site has been signed by the owner and by the CLT and contracts have just been exchanged! This represents real progress  for the project  and it will give the CLT six months to complete and submit the planning application for the housing development.


There was a slight lull in the pace of activity on the Mill Lane Community Housing scheme over the Christmas period but progress continues to be made.

The main news is that the Design Team, consisting of members of the CLT, South Lakes and John Gilbert Architects organised a CLT members’ drop-in on Monday February 17th at The Centre, Halton. The purpose of the drop-in was to give members a chance to view the two main design layout options for the housing development and feed back to the architects, who were present, along with other members of the design team.

Tree and Topographical surveys have been completed, and other site surveys will be commissioned in the near future, as we move towards being ready to apply for planning permission.

Our partners South Lakes Housing have recently submitted the grant application to Homes England for the funds to build the housing development on Mill Lane and discussions are now underway.

The local Housing Needs Survey has now been shared with neighbouring parishes. The survey results will help the area to plan future housing development based on actual housing need.

We continue to assist those involved with Forge Lane and Mill Lane Road Adoption. Things are moving forward slowly, and hopefully we will see more progress on both roads soon.

If you have any questions, or want to register an interest in a possible home on the Mill Lane site, please contact us at:  info@lunevalleyclt.org

November Update

This has been a very busy period on several fronts.

A General Meeting was held on Sunday 13th October at the Centre.

After receiving an update on the affordable housing development on Mill Lane, the members present agreed that the board could:

  • proceed with signing the option agreement on the Mill Lane site;
  • accept the grant money from Lancaster City Council and abide by the conditions;
  • sign the legal partnership agreement with South Lakes Housing.

All those present then discussed allocation criteria for future tenants of the homes. This work is ongoing but the board was grateful for the clear steer, before further discussions with Lancaster City Council and South Lakes Housing. We all agreed that the rented and shared ownership homes should be affordable to local people on low incomes.

We have now agreed the land purchase option agreement with the landowner, and are expecting to ‘exchange’ on this soon. This protects our position as the preferential buyer of the land.

We are very pleased that we are now in receipt of the final report on the local Housing Needs Survey. The report concluded that:

  • a need exists for 22 additional affordable homes every year in Halton Parish, over the next 5 years;
  • There is a need for 50 additional affordable homes every year over 5 years, in the whole area that was surveyed;
  • This level of need exists for both existing and newly-forming households;
  • All sizes and types of dwellings are needed and around 42% need to be suited to older people;
  • There is a particular need for 2-bed homes. There is currently a surplus of 3- and 4- bedroom houses in current and planned commercial developments and a shortfall in the number of 1- and 2-bedroom homes.

The report will be passed to all the Parish Councils whose areas were in the survey.

All of this crucial information confirms the need for more affordable homes in Halton and will be used now to decide the final mix and layout of homes for the site on Mill Lane. Our partners South Lakes Housing have now (with our agreeement) appointed architects for the development: John Gilbert Architects. They were chosen because of their experience in building affordable passivhaus- standard homes i.e. affordable to rent/buy and to live in, due to superior insulation and low fuel bills.

South Lakes Housing have now formed a design team consisting of two senior members from South Lakes Housing,  architects from John Gilbert, and a project manager/QS from Elliots. Two members of the CLT (one of whom is an architect) are also part of the team and they all now meeting regularly.

We have now received our first tranche of the grant funding for our ‘pre-development’ costs from Lancaster City Council. This grant covers our legal fees on land purchase and lease development, community led housing consultancy, and all the surveys, architectural and engineering inputs needed to develop the designs for our application for detailed planning permission.

There has also been progress on Forge Lane adoption. Lancashire County Council have agreed to adopt the road in the near future, pending some works being completed by the current owner. Lune Valley CLT members recently removed vegetation from the pin curb of the pavement on Forge Lane, as part of the process. Once the road is adopted, a 20 mile/hour speed limit will be imposed; the new signs have just been erected.

So, we are making slow but steady progress on the scheme. Neighbours can expect to see more activity on the site soon, as the surveys (land, trees, soil) begin.

September update

Lune Valley CLT plans to build 20 affordable, eco-friendly homes on one of the two semi-derelict sites between Mill and Forge Lanes.

We are doing this with support from Lancaster City Council, and in partnership with the South Lakes Housing Association. The homes will be affordable both to rent/part buy and to run e.g. very low heating bills.

This is to update you on progress since our ‘drop-in’ session, and other public events, in June.

We ran the housing need survey in Halton and the surrounding area, through June-July. Thank you to all those who took the time to respond. The results have been processed, and we now have a draft report of the results, which clearly show a need for more affordable homes in our area. We expect the final report soon; and will use this to decide exactly what mix of homes – both in size, and the mix of rented or part-owned – are needed on the Mill Lane site. First preference for living in these will go to those with strong village connections; this includes young people, those in essential jobs, and the more elderly too.

We have just heard that we have been successful with our application to Lancaster City Council for grant funding to pay for ‘pre-development’ work. The council press release is here.

This will allow us to start work, with South Lakes Housing, on finalising the site layout, and development of designs, through to applying for Planning Permission.

At the same time we have started the legal work of negotiating to buy the site, with the landowner, and to set up our ‘development lease’ to frame our partnership with South Lakes Housing.

As we make progress, we will consult with the village as we prepare the Planning Permission application. Look out for information on the usual village publicity sites, including for public meetings.

We plan to have a General Meeting on 13th October, to update our members on progress and seek their agreement to our plans.

If you wish to become a member then please fill out a Membership Application, or if you would be interested in living in one of the units then please fill out this form.