At their meeting last night, Hughenden Parish Council dropped their plan to build Rural Affordable Housing on Green Belt and AONB land in Warrendene Road, Hughenden Valley. The Council’s press release says:
“Hughenden Parish Council has now received the results of the Parish-wide Housing Needs Survey that was commissioned from Community Impact Bucks. This was a robust consultation exercise carried out to establish whether there is a need for rural affordable housing in the Parish, and to find out the views of local residents. The results show:-
a) There is some need for rural affordable homes in Hughenden Parish
b) Rural affordable housing in principle is supported by just under 50% of respondents
c) 80% of respondents are against any development in the GB/AONB
In summary, there is sufficient need to justify a small development but this idea cannot be pursued furthe because there is not enough support within the community for it to be possible to use the Rural Exception Site scheme.
The Council passed the following motion at its meeting on 8th March 2011:- The Parish Council accepts the results of the Housing Needs Survey carried out at its request by Community Impact Bucks, and their recommendations. This consultation process shows that, while some need for affordable housing has been established, there is insufficient community support for a small development using Green Belt/AONB land. This Parish Council will not, therefore, proceed further with a Rural Exception Site scheme. The Parish Council recognizes the strength of opposition to any use of green belt/AONB land. Just over 900 survey forms were returned (27% of households) and these show that some 80% of residents responding were opposed to even a small development.
Hughenden Parish Council has a responsibility to try to serve all its residents. It is for this reason that it went through the lengthy consultation process currently required for the use of a Rural Exception Site Scheme. The Council considers the outcome of the consultation exercise to be a reflection of feelings in the Parish, expressed through a democratic consultation process. Parish Councillors (who are non political elected volunteers) have a genuine desire to try to serve those village residents who are not home owners. It is unfortunate that this has led some residents to try to undermine confidence in the Council itself. Now that a decision has been made, the Council trusts that relationships with local residents can be rebuilt.”