Meeting over housing plans

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A MEETING to ‘set the record straight’ over affordable housing proposals in West Hallam was attended by more than 100 residents.

Parish council chairman, Carol Hart, led the meeting in a bid to lay residents minds at rest over the plans.

She said: “There’s been a lot of misinformation and a lot of misunderstanding over what’s happening.

“As it is there are two possible sites where planning applications may be put in to build affordable housing.

“First and foremost we wanted to let people know that no decision has been made and if, and that’s a big if, there is an application made all of the normal will apply, people will be able to make objections.”

Many residents who attended the meeting were unhappy about the proposals and said they would fight to stop the properties being built.

But Cllr Hart said there would be strict rules in force if the homes were built.

“People have a real misconception of what affordable housing is. It isn’t for misfits and anyone from anywhere.

“If there are places built they will only be available for people from the village or those with a very strong connection to West Hallam.

“But before anything happens the public are invited to a consultation event where they can see the work East Midlands Housing does, see who will benefit and ask any questions before leaving feedback in a democratic way.”

The consultation event will run from 12.30pm-7.30pm on Monday July 18, at the Powtrell Community Pavilion in Beech Lane.

It has been set up following a survey carried out by specialist agency, Midlands Rural Housing, that showed a need for 18 affordable homes in the area.

Miles King, from Midlands Rural, said: “All over the country, people are forced to leave the villages where they grew up when they start looking for their own home. Older age groups often find they need a more affordable home because of changing circumstances. Small developments, like the one proposed for West Hallam, can help communities stay together.

“High deposits put ordinary home ownership out of reach for many people who would like to stay in a village like West Hallam. Without affordable housing, they would have to move away.”