Detached house in Park Lane*
Row of terrace houses in Northfields*
Elms House on Queen Street
Social housing on Waterhouse Close*
Role of the Twyford Neighbourhood Plan
Providing for new housing is one of the most important tasks of the TNP
Does the TNP have to allocate land for housing?
The South of England has huge demands for housing and the South Downs National Park is not immune from these pressures. Government places a responsibility on the National Park Authority (SDNPA) to allocate extra housing land but, unlike neighbouring Winchester District, it imposes no targets. The SDNPA has reviewed the housing needs of the National Park as a whole and has assessed each settlement within the Park. It has now identified Twyford’s contribution to this total as 20 in addition to infilling.
We have the opportunity, as a village, to decide where these houses should be built but we have to make sure that the land is both suitable and available. Of course this includes discussion with the landowners.
The background to housing need in Twyford
The 2011 census shows about 674 households within the parish, an increase from 628 in 2001. The adjacent histograms show the mix of housing within the village (click to enlarge).
Summarising this and other housing information, Twyford has about 50% more detached houses than the South East generally and more than Winchester. Twyford’s houses are larger than average too and our population skewed to higher earners.
Over the last 14 years, we have experienced nearly 10% growth in housing, most of which has been at Northfields and Bournefields with infilling elsewhere.
What are Twyford’s housing needs?
There is exceptionally high demand for housing in Twyford, leading to very high house prices but this is no indication of need.
Housing need is represented by those local people who cannot compete in the local housing market and qualify for inclusion on the Housing Authority's register. National Parks are required to safeguard local communities and the Government encourages the provision of social housing through the planning process.
What other housing needs are there in Twyford, for instance, for the young and the elderly? Should new housing be limited to social housing?
In 2015 and the early part of 2016 a range of studies were undertaken to quantify the need for new housing in Twyford and to identify possible sites for these. A housing Needs Study was carried out for us by Action Hampshire with the cooperation of Winchester City Council. The results of this work are given on the Related Links below.
Council run retirement bungalows*
Mildmay House, near St. Mary's Church
Housing by types of tenure – click to enlarge
Housing by types of accommodation– click to enlarge
Housing site selection process
The SDNP requires Twyford to find new land for 20 houses in the plan period in addition to infilling; the Parish Council has accepted this total.
Possible sites for building new housing in Twyford – click to enlarge.
We have adopted a systematic approach to identifying the best site or sites, as there may be more than one. We first mapped sites around the village. Then we agreed on the site selection criteria; we have, in fact, used the same criteria adopted by SDNP for their local plan but also added some of our own. Then we applied the criteria to the sites.
Full details of site selection process and a request for views were originally posted on the Parish Council Website but have been updated and are available here. Click HOUSING SITE SELECTION PROCESS (sections 1 to 9 of the report) for the initial evaluation.
All the sites considered in the above evaluation are shown in the map left.
As the result of this process, two sites emerged as the front runners and continued to be considered as possible sites for future housing and were subject to further evaluation. The two sites are the land east of the parish hall and surgery (the south part of Site 26) and a plot of land at Northfields (the hatched part of Site S1).
We were helped in the appraisal of the landscape impact of development, by studies from Terra Firma. These included a LANDSCAPE CHARACTER ASSESSMENT of the whole Parish and following this a HOUSING SITES ASSESSMENTS evaluation of the above 8 shortlisted sites. Click the above links to see details of this work
Comparison between Site S1 and Site 26 for allocation of 20 houses
Following the initial Housing Site Section Process described above and feedback from public consultation in February 2016, Site S1 located at Northfields and Site 26 the field adjacent to the Parish Hall, were accepted by the Parish Council as the ones most suited for allocation of 20 dwellings and were subject to further scrutiny for possible allocation both individually and in combination. Site 26 was eventually selected alone for the allocation because of its closeness to village facilities and its potential to deliver further benefits, in particular, increased parking for the village centre and open space. It is also large enough to apply the affordable housing criteria for on-site provision.
Because of its prominence in the landscape, the landscape consultants had initially recommended that the area of Site 26 for development should be limited to the west part but a subsequent report (see below) advised that a layout for 20 houses as developed by Spindrift, which included the south eastern part of the site, would be acceptable.
The development of this site also provides the opportunity to incorporate flood mitigation on site and to support off site works required for the benefit of the whole Parish. The dwellings would be small (in accordance with housing Policy HN1) and so at a high density. The site is constrained by a clump of trees on the higher ground, which it was determined should remain as a feature and foil to new building.
A summary of the process of comparison between Site S1 and Site 26 and the reasons for selection of Site 26 as the allocated site has now been added to the HOUSING SITE SELECTION PROCESS report (sections 10 to 12).
Site 26 possible layout
As part of the part of the process of deciding if Site 26 was suitable for the allocation of 20 houses, the Parish Council appointed Spindrift, an urban planning consultant, to develop a possible layout for the 20 houses as evidence of feasibilty. This is shown on the adjacent plan. Photomontages of this layout were also produced by the potential developer's architect, Huw Thomas, to ensure that views of such a development from key points around the village would be acceptable. These can be viewed by clicking on the links below:-
The Spindrift layout for Site 26 with 20 houses was also the subject of a landscape assessment by Terra Firma. The assessment (click HERE for details) concluded that "the effects would be considered moderate adverse at worse and in the context of the need for housing and the benefits of the proposal in terms of open space provision, flood alleviation and additional parking in the village centre these would generally be considered to be acceptable."
Possible layout for new housing on Site 26 – click to enlarge.
A detailed brief for development of Site 26, (Policy DB1) has been set out in the Neighbourhood Plan and this defines housing size requirements and explains how landscape, flooding and sewage issues are to be resolved. A detailed report has also been prepared by Mayer Brown Consultants describing possible flood alleviation proposals adjacent to the site and this is shown in the "Environment" section of the website.
Settlement Boundary review
in 2016, we also asked Terra Firma to undertake a review of the Twyford Settlement Boundary which was first established over 20 years ago. A settlement boundary defines the area of a settlement where development such as infill may be permitted, provided it complies with other policies. Development outside the Settlement Boundary is more tightly controlled. It is an important way of protecting the character of the village and conserving the landscape and countryside around it. Click SETTLEMENT BOUNDARY REVIEW to see Terra Firma's recommendations. The methodology used for this review was that recommended by SDNPA. See related links below for details.