The Duchy of Lancaster, one of the Queen's property and land estates, has unveiled planning proposals for twelve new homes to be built in the village of Dunsop Bridge, Ribble Valley.
At a meeting attended by 56 of the local residents and opened by Parish Council chair David Spencer, the Duchy team unveiled the proposals and explained the concept behind the application, which is due for submission to the planning committee at the end of September.
If the application is approved, the new homes are expected to be built in two phases, each delivering six new affordable homes on sites close to the village school, hall and local shopping facilities. Pictured right is the south site perspective of the Dunsop Bridge housing scheme.
The Duchy identified the two sites in consultation with the local community in 2008. The three bedroom family homes will be built to level 3 of the Government's Code for Sustainable Homes and the national Lifetime Homes standard, which many planning policies now require.
In addition, each will have its own private garden, with hedgerows and allotments along the front and rear boundaries.
The proposed scheme is part of a new Duchy initiative designed to support rural communities on its various estates. The newly launched Duke of Lancaster Housing Trust has been set up by the Duchy to invest in residential accommodation which is both sustainable and appropriate to its location.
Paul Clarke, trustee and Duchy chief executive officer, said: "The Duke of Lancaster Housing Trust aims to address the need for affordable housing for local people of all ages including those who may have been obliged to leave their communities due to a lack of suitable and affordable accommodation.
"Our role is to oversee the quality of the design and delivery of these homes, while prioritising applications from members of the local community. To help us achieve this, we will be developing a points system based on a 'ripple model' where more points are given to local applications than to those from farther afield."
If the Dunsop Bridge proposals are approved, the new Duke of Lancaster Housing Trust will work with a recognised registered social landlord to manage and administer the scheme, while ensuring compliance with the Duchy's philosophy and guiding principles.
Clarke added: "We have already started to register names of those who may be interested in applying for these homes if the scheme is approved and I would urge any other interested parties to make themselves known through the Parish Council. This is a superbly designed, sensitively developed scheme which will enhance the village for generations to come."
The Duchy of Lancaster is a portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Sovereign in his or her role as Duke of Lancaster.
Lifetime Homes said all public sector funded housing in England will be built to the Lifetime Homes standard from 2011, which is an existing requirement in Wales and Northern Ireland, with a target of 2013 for all private sector dwellings.
The Lifetime Homes Group consists of Help the Aged, Age Concern and Habinteg.