River End, Denmead, Hampshire

A mixed development of houses and flats with open space completed in April 2015.

River End, Denmead, HampshireHousing Association
Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing (HARAH)

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Denmead Parish Council; Hampshire County Council; Action Hampshire; Winchester City Council; Hyde Housing Association

Scheme outline
The site at River End, Denmead was owned by Hampshire County Council with access to the site owned by Denmead Parish Council. The site was designated recreation land, but there was no public access to the site.

HCC offered the land to HARAH as part of a County project to support the provision of affordable housing across rural Hampshire. It was agreed by the parties that the site should be a mix of housing and open space in roughly equal proportions, due to its previous designation as recreation land.

The scheme includes about a quarter of the land as an ecology area to protect and enhance the ecological diversity on the site, about a quarter was allocated as allotments, which was a strong desire of Denmead Parish Council and half the site was proposed as housing together with their gardens.

The housing comprises: 4 x 1 bed flats 2 x 2 bed flats 3 x 2 bed houses 2 x 3 bed houses Work started on site in January 2014 and completed 2 April 2015. The Section 106 for the scheme includes local connection criteria for allocation of the homes, with first priority given to households with a strong local connection to Denmead.

Denmead has significant housing development being undertaken in the parish. However a key issue for the Parish Council was to be able to prioritise affordable housing for local people in perpetuity, which is the unique function of a rural exception site.

All 11 homes were offered to applicants with a strong local connection to Denmead Parish. In addition to the housing, the scheme also provides a number of pocket allotments. These are offered to residents of the scheme first and then to neighbouring residents.

They have been particularly welcomed by the residents and are already being cultivated.

Good practice
The development of the River End scheme in Denmead demonstrates the importance of partnership work and the tenacity of the partners – the Parish Council first approached HARAH in 2008 to consider the need for affordable housing for local people

The scheme completed in April 2015. The Parish Council were important in driving the scheme for their parish, in the face of significant opposition from neighbours to the site. All the partners within HARAH played their part in providing these much needed homes.

Hampshire County Council is the primary Landowner but also Denmead Parish Council own a strip of land through which the access was made into the site. The Parish Council were key drivers for the scheme as they were very keen to provide some affordable housing to meet the housing needs of people with a strong local connection to the Parish.

Winchester City Council new homes team were involved throughout the development of the project, and ensured the project’s progress when obstacles were encountered. The Rural Housing Enablers provided support to the Parish Council and appraised possible sites for housing in the early phases of the project. Hyde Housing Association became involved early on when sites were being shortlisted and took the project through to completion.

They appointed HGP Architects to design the scheme and contracted with Drew Smith to build the homes. Hyde received funding for the scheme from the Homes and Communities Agency. Denmead Junior School were also involved as they were offered access to use the ecology land for educational purposes. HARAH gave vouchers to the school to purchase equipment for their use.

£1.6 million in total

“This scheme highlights the importance of partnership working. A key priority for the Parish was to be able to find a permanent solution to providing affordable housing for local people”
Councillor Caroline Horrill, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing

“The Parish Council were concerned that so many of our young people leave the village through not being able to afford to buy here. We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition and to have helped 11 families that have strong connections to the village”
Councillor Kevin Andreoli, Chairman Denmead Parish Council