We set up the Lune Valley Community Land Trust a year ago, to contribute to affordable housing and public access land for the village. It is a not-for-profit, co-operative, which is run by the community for the community, akin to the Hydro.
In the area south of Low Road, about 120 homes have now been built in the original ‘Time & Tide’ development area; only 3 of them are ‘affordable’.
To address this imbalance, and more importantly to prioritise housing for locals on low incomes, we have developed plans to build 20 truly affordable homes on one of the two uncompleted, semi-derelict sites between Mill Lane and Forge Lane. Note: The second of the two remaining uncompleted sites is intended to be developed by Halton Senior Cohousing.
The houses will be built to high standards, exceeding national standards on living space and be very affordable to heat. As can be seen from the outline site layout plan, it provides some shared communal space and encourages community-building.
We have just decided to develop and manage the site in partnership with a local Housing Association, whose leadership and strategy fits well with ours, and whose financial strength will reduce the grant funding we need.
We want to provide homes for those who either wish to remain in Halton or have been forced out due to the high prices. We will be able to decide on who gets the affordable homes, and also prevent the ‘right to buy’, which would over time remove affordable homes from the village. First preference will go to those with strong village connections; this includes young people, those in essential jobs, and the more elderly too.
Proposed Site Layout
In order to ensure that we provide the types of homes that are needed, we will shortly undertake a housing need survey for Halton and the surrounding area. We will publicise this to each household; it will allow you to tell us what you think, but also to actually register your own interest in a new affordable home. Please take the time to help us with this.
At the same time, we will consult with the village as we prepare a Planning Permission application. Look out for information on the usual village publicity sites, including for a public meeting.