Housing Needs Survey January 2020

Residents, Employers and Employees

In January 2020, the Council is sending a Housing Needs Survey to every household in the town, asking householders to identify the housing needs of all members of the household in the next five years. (online at: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434273466 )

Local employers are also asked to bring the questionnaire to the attention of employees many of whom commute into the town. (online at:  https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434391654 )

The Town Council is asking for responses to its Housing Needs Survey before February 7th 2020.

Why we want Information

The Town Council, as part of its long-term planning, wishes to have a more detailed understanding of local housing needs.

Affordability and Suitability

They are concerned that truly affordable housing in the area is becoming more difficult to acquire and that the cost of housing is increasing beyond the reach of local people. This applies especially to younger people and those on lower incomes, with the result that these residents usually have to move away. This undermines the natural balance of the community.  The same applies to residents who, by reason of age and/or disability, want to move to more suitable accommodation within the community but are unable to do so. (online at:  https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434273466 )

The Town Council is also aware that many who work in Church Stretton but who are not currently resident in the town may wish to live in the town if housing options were available to them within their means. This results in many having to commute long distances into work with the resultant costs in time and money as well as carbon emissions. (online at:  https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434391654 )

Questionnaires and Anonymity

Through the Questionnaires, we aim to find out about people’s housing need. We would like to know what type of housing is wanted and what rent/mortgage repayments would be affordable.

This information, we don’t ask for your names, will help to influence the local application of the Shropshire Council Planning Policy with regard to housing.

Every Household should receive a questionnaire at the beginning of January, and you will also be able to complete the survey digitally on-line, and get paper copies from the Town Council Offices.

Local Residents version: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434273466

Employee version: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=157434391654

The deadline for completing and returning the survey is Friday February 7th 2020.

Paper copies of this survey are available at the Town Council Office, 60, High St., Church Stretton, SY6 6BY.

 

Publishing the Results

 

The resultant overall analysis of local housing needs will be made widely publicly available and will inform the local housing policy of Shropshire Council, with backing from the Town Council

 

More Questions?

 

If you have any queries on this survey, please contact us at: https://www.churchstretton-tc.gov.uk/our-offices/

3 thoughts on “Housing Needs Survey January 2020”

  1. For Cllr Hilary Claytonsmith. I appreciate the considered response to my comment, and for providing some useful information. Despite my not being at one with the Councillor on several matters (eg the relevance of the ratio of detached properties, and the “allocation” of an arbitrary number of new houses over ten years), I am content not to prolong discussion. My objective is and has been to encourage restraint by the Town Council.

  2. I fear that the Town Council is too absorbed with the notion that Church Stretton needs more housing. There is of course a need nationally for this and it is something for central government and the Counties to tackle (a problem largely inflicted on the country by uncontrolled immigration – imo), but not at our local parochial level.

    The focus appears to be on the provision of adequate “affordable” housing. This has already been produced in such places as along Essex Road, with the result that a number of the properties have been taken not by low-income first-time purchasers but by others, as rental investments for instance. Any further developments with this virtue-signalling objective may prove as questionably unsuccessful whilst at the same time detracting from the traditional character of our town in the middle of an AONB.

    The effect of more affordable housing may well be an influx of persons arriving from elsewhere rather than providing for the existing towns-folk.

    The Town Council should be wary of unintended consequences.

    I have not completed the survey.

    1. Shropshire Council is going through a Local Plan Review at the moment and is looking at housing allocations across the whole of Shropshire. New development is strictly controlled in accordance with national and local (Shropshire Council) planning policies. The Town Council has little control over the number of houses it is allocated.
      Shropshire Council recognises that Church Stretton is unique, in as much as it is wholly in the AONB. In doing this it has allocated fewer houses to the parish than would otherwise be the case. Church Stretton has been allocated 250 dwellings over the period 2016 to 2036.
      It also appreciates the need to safeguard the high quality natural and built environment at the same time as noting that there is a need to provide more affordable homes and low-cost market housing in an area where housing costs are very high.
      The Town Council believes that there should be adequate housing for everyone across the full range of housing types. Church Stretton has a large number of detached properties, (52.2%) in comparison to the whole of Shropshire with 39.5%. It also has fewer semi-detached houses than in the rest of Shropshire. The average cost of a house in Church Stretton is £299,899. Although we have a number of affordable houses in the town, it is thought that more are needed.
      The purpose of the Housing Needs Questionnaire is to find out what type of properties people live in and if they are going to move, what type of homes they would be looking for. This will provide a guide for the Town Council when it talks to Shropshire Council officers about the housing types required in the town.
      The allocation of social affordable housing is carried out by Shropshire Council through Shropshire HomePoint which is a choice-based letting scheme which advertises affordable housing and manages the housing waiting list in Shropshire. Most people can apply but there are a few exceptions, including those people who have previously been found to have unacceptable behaviour and people subject to immigration control. To be eligible to apply for affordable housing, a person has to show a local connection (currently resident in the parish, previously resident, permanently employed in the parish, connected by close family living here) and these connections are checked out by the Town Clerk. Such housing can be provided subject to a condition or agreement which retains it in perpetuity only for people who have a local connection, so concerns about outsiders occupying the dwellings can be addressed.
      The Town Council is looking forward to the outcome of the questionnaires at present with the residents in the parish so that it can be better informed and have a clearer picture of what Church Stretton needs in the future.
      Cllr Hilary Claytonsmith
      Chair CSTC PC

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