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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
Theoption agreement to buy the Mill Lane sitehas 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Lune Valley CLT are planning to build 20 affordable, eco-friendly homes on Mill Lane, with support from Lancaster City Council and South Lakes Housing Association. The homes will be affordable both to rent/part-buy and to run e.g. low heating bills. The drop-in on Sunday June 9th at the Centre to publicise the scheme was a great success with around 50 local people attending. As well as ourselves, South Lakes Housing and Keswick Community Housing Trust were there to talk about their involvement in community-led and affordable housing schemes. We were able to publicise the local housing needs survey, which was funded by Lancaster City Council. The survey is now closed and the final report is expected in early August. The results, whilst feeding into the final composition of homes on the Mill Lane site, will also help Lancaster City Council and local parish councils to plan new housing developments based on genuine local need. Many thanks to all those who completed the survey.
We also had a presence at the Centre’s Community Hub meeting on June 20th and St Wilfred’s Fair on 29th. At all three events, people were able to register their interest in the homes on the Mill Lane development, as well as discuss any concerns they had, ask questions and leave suggestions.
If you would like further information about the Mill Lane development, register your interest in joining the CLT, and/or comment on the outline plans, please contact the Company secretary (email@example.com)
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.