English Rural are thrilled to announce that the Planning Committee at Dover have approved our application for six affordable homes in Staple, Kent.
English Rural has been working with Dover District Council and its Parish Councils for some years, developing local needs affordable housing in rural areas. We currently have homes in St Margaret’s at Cliffe and Goodnestone. Importantly these homes have provided much needed affordable housing for local people, helping to ensure the future sustainability of these rural communities. There is always an overwhelming demand for our homes, which continue to remain affordable, for local people, forever.
We were invited by Staple Parish Council in April 2016 to work with them to progress a local needs housing project. This was in response to a housing needs survey, carried out by the Rural Housing Enabler at Action with Communities in Rural Kent which had identified a housing need from local people, unable to afford to rent or buy in their home village. The Rural Housing Enabler worked with Staple Parish Council and planning officers at Dover District Council to undertake a robust site search in the village. The resulting site in Durlock Road, was the only available option.
English Rural has worked closely with the planning officer and highways and heritage officer in the redesign of the layout and properties. Our planning application is supported by an extensive range of detailed surveys and reports and we now believe we have produced a high quality design befitting its location.
The decision secures much needed affordable homes for local people in Staple. Like many rural areas, villages across Kent have been affected by higher than average property values and lower than average wages, making it unaffordable for many local people to remain within their home communities close to family and support networks.
“The decision to approve our application will help to promote the value that small-scale affordable housing developments can bring to villages like Staple, providing well-designed homes in partnership with and for the benefit of the community. Affordable rural developments provide a secure and safe place for local people to live, in the communities they serve and support. The new affordable homes at Staple will play an important role in safeguarding a vibrant, active and working village that includes a mixture of age groups and income earners. We always welcome the opportunity to work with other villages to support them with developing their own affordable homes for local people.”
One such person, who has registered an interest for one of the proposed homes, said: –
“We grew up in the village and our parents are still there. Our workplace is two miles from Staple but we had to move to Deal where we rent privately and are in constant worry of the Landlord serving notice. To have a permanent place to live, which is affordable, would be perfect.”
Experience has shown us that villages like Staple benefit significantly from retaining local households who would otherwise be priced out of their community. Local people help to define and make a village what it is. Retaining local households, who often work locally or support local family networks, brings a broader social sustainability. This helps to retain the very fabric of community life in rural areas.