We want to say a big thank you to all the local residents who responded to our recent consultation about our plans to build a new play area and new homes in Stansfield. Details of this consultation remain available on our website.
We promised to share the feedback from the consultation with everyone on this website. You can find a set of frequently asked consultation questions below, together with our responses. We will take on board all the feedback we have received as we start to prepare our planning application.
We have also received some early illustrations of what the new homes may look like. These are not the final designs but we want to share them with residents to give an early understanding of the type of high-quality affordable houses contained in our plans.
How does this scheme reflect the needs and requirements of the local community?
We all know that Rochdale Borough needs more affordable housing to meet the needs of residents, and this is particularly pressing in the wider Littleborough area. Our new homes for shared ownership will help to meet clear and immediate need for new high-quality affordable family homes accessible for local people in Littleborough. The Council’s own plans estimate that a minimum of 460 new homes per year are required, and that a significant proportion of those new homes should be affordable housing.
What is shared ownership and how is it affordable housing?
Shared ownership is a government scheme that allows you to buy a share of a home and pay an affordable rent on the un-owned share. You can usually buy shares between 10% and 75% of the property value. You typically need to put down a minimum of 5% deposit, depending on the mortgage lender, but that’s only on your share rather than the total property price. Later on, you could buy bigger shares if you want to, usually until you own the home outright, this is known as staircasing. It is an affordable way to access home ownership and a great opportunity for people to buy homes they could not typically afford on the open market.
What has happened to the money paid by Barratt Homes to the Council as part of a previous “Section 106” agreement?
The Section 106 monies which were paid by Barratt Homes to the Council when they developed new homes near to the site in 2015, were part of an agreement directly between the Council and Barratt Homes and RBH were not part of this agreement. We are keen to work with the Council to explore how these monies could be used to further enhance the proposed new play area in addition to the equipment which will be provided by RBH. The feedback we have received from our survey during the consultation period, will help us to identify the key things the local community would like to see in the new play area.
What assessment has been done of the flood risk in the area?
A Flood Risk Assessment has been undertaken which finds there is no history of flooding from watercourses in the area. The possibility of flooding from groundwater has been considered but as the proposed development will be constructed above the natural existing ground level this is not a risk. The landscaped and paved areas will be designed to ensure there is no risk of flooding to the surrounding area or homes.
How will you ensure that the new play area is safe for children and will be fit for purpose?
We are very grateful to all the local residents who took the time to complete our survey and share their views on what they would like to see in the new play area. The survey results tell us that they would like the play area to be suitable for pre-school age children as well as primary school age children. 81% of people said they would like the playground to be enclosed with fencing to make it secure for young children and 86% of people said that they would like benches included within the design. The play area is likely to be at a different level to the road, creating increased separation and safety.
Why aren’t you building on brownfield land, and what will you do regarding the loss of green space?
RBH is delivering homes across the Rochdale Borough on a range of sites, of which are Brownfield land or open space identified as potential future housing sites. An Open Space Assessment for the whole area will be provided to the Council as part of any future planning application. This will determine how the Council wish to deal with the status of the site, if planning permission is granted. It will take into account the provision, accessibility and quality of all green space in the local area to enable the council to consider the current use, the proposed new play area and the new affordable homes.
Are you building too many homes on this piece of land?
Our plans will deliver a scheme that is appropriate for the site and for the wider community. We will make sure that the design and layout of homes complies with local planning policy as set out by the Council, and our final proposals will take on board any comments made by residents who have responded to the consultation.
Will this new development mean that some houses could be overlooked or lose natural light?
No. All new homes will be positioned to comply with national planning policy. This means the homes can only be situated within a certain distance of existing homes to avoid them being overlooked or losing natural light.
How will you ensure the infrastructure in the area can cope with additional residents, for example schools and doctors?
As part of the planning application the Council will assess the existing demand on infrastructure in the area and determine the increased demand based on the bedspaces provided by the new homes.
How will you make sure that the new homes do not have a negative impact on traffic and parking?
As part of any Planning application, we will need to demonstrate to the Council’s Highways Department that the proposals will not have a negative impact upon the existing residents or wider community. A transport survey will take place which will be assessed by the Council. They may choose to add conditions as part of the planning permission to reassure residents.
Have you considered the wildlife and trees on the site?
We will undertake an ecological assessment of the site which will be submitted to the Council as part of the planning process. The report we receive will help the Council decide if there needs to be any additional provisions as part of the development such as the inclusion of new trees and planted areas, bird and bat boxes.
How will you make sure that that the existing neighbourhood does not lose interconnectivity?
We are very grateful for this feedback from the consultation, and we will work with the architect and Council planning officers to address this point.
How do these plans meet your corporate strategy priority to improve the lives of communities?
Our corporate strategy, Together sets out a priority to help achieve a better mix and quality of homes across the Rochdale Borough, to meet the needs of residents now and in to the future. These proposed new affordable homes will provide an opportunity for local residents to access affordable home ownership, which we know there is a demand for in this area and provide greater housing choice.