In 2012/2013 the Parish Council instigated a Parish Survey to find out more about who ‘we’ really were and what our main likes/dislikes/concerns were about living here, the things and places that we valued most and what we thought would improve lives. Part of this survey indicated resident families’ needs for smaller houses and property to rent.
This was therefore followed up by a properly recognised ‘Housing Needs Survey’ to consider our own need for both Market and Affordable Housing over the next 5 years. This survey showed an actual requirement for 23 affordable and some market homes, mostly one and two bedroomed dwellings. This survey was to be repeated every five years. It was felt that the market home requirements would be met by outside developers ( e.g. Swallowcroft), but there was no mechanism to supply the required Affordable rented housing for LOCAL people.
The Parish Council at the time felt that a CLT was a good route through which this need could be addressed, and so we began our first project in 2016 – Fuller Close in Claypits.
At the same time it was recognised that, with the coalition government turning the planning laws inside out, the developers were having a hay day and that our valued green spaces were becoming harder to defend. This gave some impetus to getting first our Parish Plan and later our Neighbourhood Development Plan into place, alongside the Stroud Local Plan, as a means of trying to control where and when developments in our area could take place.
Basically development was to be limited to areas already within the bounds of Alkerton, but provision was made to meet our own local affordable housing needs by means of exception sites outside the village envelope. This is endorsed in the Stroud Local Plan (Policy HC4 – Page 111). (click to see an extract).
The extract from the Local Plan also describes how priority for local people may be achieved (via what is called a Section 106 agreement- a legal document a bit like a covenant that is imposed as part of the Planning Permission). There is more detail on our FAQ page.
In 2019 the Parish Council repeated the Housing Needs Survey – which identified a demand for 51 affordable homes. As a change from 2013, the 2019 survey identified a significant need for Affordable Shared Ownership, as well as Affordable Rent.
Fullers Close was to deliver 23 of these, leaving an unmet demand for a further 28. Hence, Project Two was required and, since we knew it would take a few years to commence building, preparatory work started in mid 2019. How Fullers Close and ‘Project Two’ are progressing is documented in their respective sections of this website.