Drop-in session at The Centre, Halton on Sunday 9th June 2019

We organised this event to inform, engage in conversations with, and gain views from local people about the provisional Mill Lane scheme for 20 affordable homes; and to help publicise the Household Housing Survey, which had just been issued to all households in Halton and some surrounding areas.

As well as the displays, we had nine people available for conversations, from the Lune Valley CLT, our proposed partners South Lakes Housing (SLH), and Keswick CLT (an example of CLT homes in action).

Over the 3 hour session, about 50 visitors dropped in. People had a wide range of conversations with us. We heard views ranging from concerns and objections on the specific proposed Mill Lane site, from people living near to it, to strong support for the plans. Some signed up for our mailing list, some to be members, and some for housing.

We asked everyone to contribute and ‘Have your say’ – through post-it responses spaces on the displays. This is what you said:

On the Mill Lane scheme:

  • Extra criteria for eligibility should be: must be able to afford what is on offer; and to favour critical public service workers
  • What happens to LV CLT continuing ‘influence’ on the plans/management, if SLH gets taken over by another HA? – need break clauses in the LV CLT-SLH partnership lease, to give options
  • Need adoption of Mill Lane as well as Forge Lane – and green spaces
  • Don’t make road access to new site through Town End Way cul-de-sac [pedestrian access is OK]
  • Don’t make any access from Town End Way
  • Don’t make any access from Town End Way – keep the fence!
  • Don’t make any access from Town End Way – we want fence to remain!
  • Safety on Forge Lane – add speed bumps, and railings at Forge Lane end of alleyways through all terraces
  • Speed restrictions ie. put bumps on roads
  • Why compare with Keswick, when it’s not achievable?
  • The Priority Criteria: does not mention anything about ‘low income’. Is low income a necessary criteria? Please clarify. Do they need to be on a council housing list? Some here today have said they need to be working (eg. like the Keswick scheme which houses teachers), whereas others have said they need to be on a council housing list. Who has priority?
  • Characterise/humanise the priority criteria list, with examples – who exactly will come?
  • On site layout: the terrace along Mill Lane will have the sun coming into their front doors and kitchens, not their sitting areas? Could they be turned round 180 degrees? Or, could you move this terrace to run along the W or E side[s] of the site [making a L], or both [making a C] – so on the W, gardens provide the separation from the existing houses; and on the E, use up the ‘tree protection’ zone? Car parking for them could still be along Mill Lane?

On the Neighbourhood Plan information:

  • When will public transport to the [Halton] housing sites be improved?
  • With all the Low Road developments, people and children crossing the Low Road is dangerous. What [crossing] is being put in place for the Low Road?

Thanks to all those who came and took part; it was very useful to get people talking to each other, to improve our exchange of information, and to gain and better understand everyone’s views.

We repeated the exercise, on smaller scale, with stalls at Millfest at Halton Mill on 15th June, and at the ‘Halton Hub’, at The Centre, on 20th June.