Penns Yard, Pembury
Affordable Housing scheme in Greenbelt Planning appeal win
Churchill Hui have secured a Planning appeal win for a scheme of 27 affordable rent units in the Kent countryside. The brief has always been to address a local housing need, on land identified by the Local Authority as being appropriate for development, for the provision of affordable housing.
The scheme took a long three years of design development prior to being submitted for Planning submission, and another year to finally secure a Planning approval via the Appeal route. The design adopts the typical Kent vernacular, and is connected to the town off the existing Penns Yard development.
The provision of affordable housing was never an issue, but recent changes in National Policy, to allow all people the right to home ownership, meant that these houses which would normally be classed as ‘rural exception housing’could not meet the Local Policy of maintaining these homes in perpetuity for local people requiring affordable housing.
The site’s location in affluent Kent meant that the Inspector recognised that although there was a conflict in policies, the likelihood of the houses being sold off was minimal, as also demonstrated by the Viability statement submitted as part of the application.
Although the development site is in the Greenbelt, all of the potentially available sites identified by the Local Authority, within their Strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA) in, and surrounding Pembury are. This particular site was the smallest of those identified by the Local Authority, therefore it would cause the least harm to the greenbelt. As the site has a direct link to the High Street, and its local services, this further reinforces the site’s suitability for development.
Churchill Hui have assisted our client, Town and Country Housing to fulfil their commitment to delivering high quality, affordable housing within Kent.