Twenty-Nine Affordable Homes in Newlyn
We are pleased to present Newlyn’s own homes for locals project to the local community. Twenty-nine much-needed and all affordable homes for local people with a strong local connection to Newlyn. This is the first project in the town for many years and brings hope for locals at a time when prospects for locals are worsening sharply. The homes will be for affordable rent and part-sale. The application does not provide for any open market homes.
A Newlyn-led project
The Newlyn Project is a product of four years of endeavour by the Newlyn Housing Working Party (NHWP) whose membership includes representatives from Gwavas Residents Association, Penzance Town Council and Penzance Neighbourhood Development Plan. It is chaired and led by local residents and supported by the charitable Cornwall Community Land Trust (CCLT) which has provided professional support, has submitted the planning application and is taking the development lead.
CCLT is a not-for-profit, charitable, community benefit society. It has worked with local communities to deliver over 260 homes across 27 projects in the last dozen years. It is governed by a Board of volunteers elected from its membership. For example it is currently completing a further 6 homes for affordable rent with Grade Ruan Community Land Trust and which will be let to local people with a strong link to the village, Ruan Minor on the Lizard.
First homes for locals project in Newlyn for years
The NHWP and CCLT recognise that any application for new affordable homes inevitably generates a range of reactions both for and against. However, we are clear that there were no other plausible alternative sites available in Newlyn to help meet the pressing and desperate need for affordable homes in the area. This is the first time in over a dozen years that Newlyn has been presented with an opportunity for a genuinely affordable housing project of this scale and nature. If this fails it will be many, many years before another project is likely to be brought forward. A rejection of this project would be devastating news for local families.
What is “affordable"?
We appreciate there is occasional scepticism about whether homes really will be “affordable”. However, CCLT is a not-for-profit charitable trust with a reputation for the successful delivery of homes which meet genuinely local and genuinely affordable need. We can provide more detail of the anticipated rent levels (ie at or below housing allowance/benefit levels) and purchase price (ie from 10% of open market price) of the homes in due course. Please contact us for details of current levels (naturally these will be subject to inflation by the time the project is ready for occupation in 2 to 3 years’ time).
Will the project worsen Newlyn’s traffic problems?
We’re of course aware of the traffic problems of the area and that they are a matter of significant local contention, whether or not these desperately needed affordable homes are delivered or not. The local housing working party is equally concerned. After all we live here too and care about it and are affected by it just as much as anyone. This is clearly a matter which should be the subject of a wide ranging solution. This project should not be made the victim of that wider concern.
CCLT has of commissioned high level professional assessments of the traffic impacts. These show the project will have an imperceptible impact on the traffic in the area. The fortunes of local holiday and visitor businesses nearby, new developments in communities to the west, new activities and events, the changing practices of sectors like that of farmers and growers and the incremental growth of back-garden development further to the west will have a far larger impact than this development but none of these other matters will be subject to the same scrutiny as our project. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the importance of this issue and are honourably exploring methods to mitigate any perceived detrimental impacts.
Indeed, it should be borne in mind that a project of this nature will in fact provide homes for some families who are already living in cramped and unsatisfactory conditions at the upper end of Chywoone/Paul Hill anyway. So their impact will be nil. A recent CCLT project found that half of those housed by it were in fact moving from “living with relatives” nearby. Given the nature of the limited local housing opportunities for locals we anticipate a similar pattern with the letting of the Newlyn project. Indeed, if we do nothing it is reasonable to assume there will be many more local households living in multi-generational and cramped living conditions and whose impact on the traffic of the area will be just as great if not more.
The traffic impact will be the subject of close professional scrutiny. CCLT and the Newlyn HWP welcome this.
Homes for locals forever
CCLT is a national leader in charitable community-led housing. It helps communities deliver projects according to each community’s wishes and ensures long-term community benefit through holding an asset lock on the land. Its homes are not subject to right to buy.
We undertook wider community consultation prior to submitting our planning application. A Housing Need Survey during December 2020 & January 2021 and a Community Feedback Survey on this project - Feb & March 2021. Both occasions the delivered to all residential addresses in the Newlyn area by Royal Mail. We offered both a freepost and an online facility for responses.
This was followed by two widely advertised virtual consultation events on 2nd and 3rd March 2021.
Our planning application PA21/03460 can be viewed online at www.planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications . We hope the local community will access the online application. We would welcome considered comments. If anything is unclear please contact us.
Space, environment and construction standards
Cornwall CLT prides itself on providing good quality homes for locals for ever. Not only are the homes genuinely affordable but the trust Board has set construction standards which ensure decent space standards for families, car parking space to avoid pressure in the neighbourhood, good energy conservation and low carbon standards, and high standards of biodiversity mitigation. CCLT is working with Cornwall Wildlife trust to ensure that wildlife will be enhanced following the development. In addition CCLT will ensure homes are constructed with bat boxes bee bricks, swift boxes etc integrated into the buildings and other features like hedgehog highways within the site.
Who will be eligible?
Priority will be given to people in housing need with an established local connection - on the basis of long term residence, past residence/upbringing, holding a job in Newlyn or through strong family connection.
What size of homes?
This scheme proposes 100% affordable housing with a split of 70% of the homes as affordable rent and 30% to be available for what is known as intermediate market sale - shared ownership.
3 x 1.5 bed 2 person bungalow
4 x 1 bed 2 person flats
4 x 2 bed 4 person flats
3 x 2 bed 4 person houses
3 x 3 bed 5 person houses
3 x 3 bed 6 person houses
Intermediate market sale - Shared Ownership
1 x 1.5 bed 2 person bungalow
4 x 2 bed 4 person houses
1 x 3 bed 5 person houses
3 x 3 bed 6 person houses
How much will they cost?
This will be known closer to anticipated completion in spring 2024, at the earliest. Purchase prices will be related to local wage levels. Shared ownership could be available from 10% of the market rate at the time. Rent levels will not exceed housing allowance/benefit levels.
The approx. 2.5 acre site is adjacent to Forbes Road and opposite Gwavas playing field. Under planning law and the Penzance area Neighbourhood Plan this site would not be permitted as an open market led development. See attached site plan.
How to apply for a home….
Even at this early stage we recommend those interested to register:
Cornwall Homechoice - www.cornwallhousing.org.uk/homechoice or 0300 1234 161
In summary, we fully understand people’s scepticism about excessive inappropriate development which has no benefit to local families in immediate housing need. However, this project is very different. It’s a modest development, about meeting the desperate need for decent and genuinely affordable homes for locals. We believe the community cannot will the end without also willing the means. There is no other plausible opportunity for Newlyn if this project falls.
Closing date for responses will be Friday 27th March 2021