Solva CLT’s first General Meeting was held on 18 November 2020 and the minutes are published on the Solva Community Council website.
Solva CLT’s AGM will be held via Zoom at 7pm on 18 November 2020. Everyone is invited to that meeting, but only members will be able to vote so download a membership form or pick one up from Bay View Stores.
The AGM will consist of a short presentation on the CLT and then the important election of 8 people to serve on the Board. So far the Board has been self selected so it is important that the leadership of the project is now placed in the hands of an elected body. So please become a member and join the AGM on 18 November. There is still a great deal of work to do before this ground-breaking project is realised.
The joint project by Solva Community Land Trust (SCLT) and housing association ateb to create new homes for the benefit of local people has received funding approval from Pembrokeshire County Council. The scheme will be mainly funded through the County Council’s Affordable Homes fund which is drawn from the Authority’s Second Homes Council Tax premium, introduced in 2017-18.
County Councillor Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, said SCLT have been engaging with the community and working with ateb to design a residential development which will meet the needs of local people. “The housing would give them the option to remain in their area rather than having to move away” he said.
Councillor Michelle Bateman, Cabinet Member for Housing, also welcomed the proposals. “This is a fantastic scheme, and a good news story for Pembrokeshire” she said. “It’s great to see new and innovative ways of delivering housing and credit to SCLT for its hard work and commitment to this initiative.”
Part of the proposed development site is on local playing fields belonging to PCC and leased to Solva Community Council. In order for the housing scheme to proceed, there is a need to comply with the requirements of the Playing Fields (Community Involvement in Disposal Decisions) (Wales) Regulations 2015 in connection with the proposed disposal of the land by way of a long lease. This proposal has been approved by Cabinet and is currently being advertised and circulated to relevant parties, in line with regulation requirements.
This unique project to build approximately 18 affordable homes in Solva which will be leased to tenants to provide local homes for local people is progressing well. The next step is the consultation with the community over the change of use of the football field to a housing site, this will take place in October.
It is very important that we get as many members as possible, and already over 50 people have signed up to have a say in this running of the Trust. We aim to have at least 100 members. It only costs a notional one pound, so please think about becoming a part of the first Community Land Trust in Pembrokeshire. Forms are available at Bay View Stores or to download as a PDF.
The work on the SCLT continues with regular meetings being held with Pembrokeshire County Council and our other partners. The next step is to get
the business case approved by PCC so that the Welsh Government can approve the grant funding. This hopefully will be done after the September Cabinet meeting of PCC.
A consultation will then take place with the community over the change of use of the playing field to a housing site. This consultation will be led by PCC. The site has been earmarked for housing for as long as people can remember, so it is hoped that this process will proceed smoothly. The project does, after all, include new recreational space. In the meantime, make sure that you complete your membership leaflet, pay a pound and join the project. There will be an AGM in the autumn so all the members can elect a committee to take forward this exciting project. If you don’t have a membership leaflet pick one up at Bay View Stores or download a PDF.
The Solva CLT Survey was conducted over a period of 3 weeks in April and May. There was an excellent response rate with a total of 141 completed surveys. 87% of all respondents were full time residents of Solva or Brawdy.
The results showed a clear need for affordable housing within the parishes of Solva and Brawdy with a requirement for housing that is suitable for both families with younger children and adapted housing for more elderly members of the community. 33% of respondents were male, 56% were female with a good distribution of ages represented, including young people and the older members of the community. 86% of all respondents supported the idea of affordable housing being built with reasons given including: to support young people who want to stay in the area or return to the area: “Allows young people to stay in the area” (Female, age 20-44); ensuring enough affordable rentable housing: “To ensure housing is relative to incomes”(Male, age 45-64), and Local housing needed for those local to the area: “Keep locals in the area, stop them moving away. Encourage them to work in traditional industries such as fishing. “Keep the community alive” (Male, age 20-44).
The survey showed a clear need for affordable housing in Solva. Of the 65 respondents who said their housing needs would change in the future, 56% said they would need an affordable home. Reasons included: the size of the current home, costs, would like to live independently and would like to return to the parish. The survey showed a high level of support for the project with almost a third of all respondents saying they would like to hear more about the project or to get involved. “The cost of housing in the village does not reflect the level of income many people have”, is another comment that came back from the survey. Another, under twenty year old respondent, said “I think it’s a good idea because it encourages new families to create a life in our village”. Another said that the CLT would “give young people and young families the choice to settle here.”
One thing is clear, the people of Solva want the project to take place and create long term affordable housing that is sustainable and eco-friendly. Despite the lock down the CLT continues to make progress and on-line meetings have taken place with the ateb group, the housing association that will partner us, to confirm the brief and start to think about the challenges that lie ahead.
Read the full survey report.
Because of the pandemic, our questionnaire had to switch to an online process. So far 125 people have completed the survey with the great majority saying that they think it’s a good idea to build affordable housing in the village. Over 30 people are interested in renting a home there. The full results of the survey will be available in early July. Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond and share their opinions with us.
PCC recently awarded the affordable housing project an additional £50,000. Taken from the Housing Need element of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Second Home Council Tax Levy, it will allow the project to continue. The funding award will run from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021.
Solva Community Land Trust’s online survey needs to hear from you! If you would like to express your views, and interest in, this exciting project, please complete the confidential survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SolvaCLT2020/
Did you know that the electoral ward of Solva and Brawdy has been identified by Pembrokeshire County Council as an area in need of housing? And that a Community Land Trust, called Solva CLT, has been set up by Solva Community Council to take a community housing project forward to meet that need?
The new houses would be for the current residents and future generations of Solva and Brawdy. They would be environmentally friendly, affordable to rent, and looked after by the CLT in partnership with a not-for-profit housing association.
Solva CLT has already run two discussion groups about the project and would now like to hear from more people living in Solva and Brawdy. An online survey has been launched which we would like as many people to complete as possible. If you would like to express your views, and interest in, this exciting project, please complete the confidential survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SolvaCLT2020/