Affordable Housing Research - August 2020 Update

Please note: This new parish council website provides much greater flexibility than the former website.  This has allowed us to make minor changes to the layout of updates, to ease reading.  The content has remained the same, other than minor adjustments to aid clarity and the feedback paragraph being adjusted following Councillor Radclyffe's resignation in August 2020, resulting in respondents being asked to send feedback to the Chairman and/or Clerk (their email addresses are provided below).  The original update, as released in August 2020, is available at the end.


Parishioner feedback

We have received ten responses from parishioners.  We are hugely grateful for all who have taken the time and effort to share their thoughts and, in some cases, to offer their professional expertise.  We are using these responses to develop a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to explain the reasons for our research, our findings, and parishioners’ concerns.

The reasons for our research

We are conducting this research as a result of the findings of the 2019 Housing Needs Survey.  We are a team of volunteers, working in challenging times, which is making this research take longer than expected.  We ask that all providing responses do so in a polite manner.  The parish council has no fixed agenda on this subject and wants to move forward in the best interests of our community, now and in the future.  We are gathering facts about the viability of an affordable housing project.  Nothing has been decided, and there will be a full public consultation before any decisions are made.


The conclusions of the 2017 Land Availability Assessment (LAA)

We have been asked by one parishioner to make it clear that the sites under consideration are the three identified in the 2017 LAA, and that Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) have stated that, “The purpose of the LAA is to identify a strategic pipeline of deliverable sites, and as such it is designed to quickly exclude options which on the basis of certain constraints, such as flood risk. The LAA would be unlikely to reach a different conclusion, unless there is evidence which alters the extent of the flood plain.”

The DNPA 2017 LAA Site Appraisals for the three Dunsford sites can be viewed or downloaded here: DNPA 2017 Land Availability Assessment - Dunsford section

Flood risk

The three sites under consideration all have sections in Flood Zone 3, the most serious flood risk designation.  There is funding available for affordable housing projects to conduct one Flood Risk Assessment (FRA); however, to conduct such an investigation on all three sites would require external funding, which may be possible through grants but we haven’t yet confirmed this possibility.


A Flood Risk Assessment would produce a detailed flood risk map, of greater local accuracy than the Environment Agency’s current modelling for Dunsford, which could provide evidence that alters the extent of the flood plain and hence alter the conclusions in the LAA.  It is also quite possible that a Flood Risk Assessment would make no difference to the LAA’s conclusions.

Informing all of our community about this research

The full parish council decided at our August 2020 meeting that it is essential that all of the village is aware of this research.  We are in the process of designing a document to deliver to all households. We look forward to hearing more parishioners’ thoughts in due course.

Other actions

We have reviewed all of the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) Development Management Committee’s minutes from January 2019 until July 2020.  All discussions of affordable housing and flood risk were highlighted and considered in detail, with the main points summarised.  These will be used to further develop the FAQ document.


We have spoken to Hastoe Housing, who developed the Great Mead affordable housing site in 1996; they are willing to consider any sites that are proposed in the village.

Collating responses

The May 2020 update stated that we would put the responses into a spreadsheet; however, having tried to do so, it produced an unwieldy document that overcomplicated matters.  As most responses have been submitted via email, we will collate them into a Word file.  Before any details are shared outside of the council, we will ensure that all personal information has been removed.

Providing responses

Due to unexpected family commitments, Councillor Radclyffe has resigned as a councillor.  We would be grateful if all correspondence regarding the research is sent to our Chairman, Paul French, and the Clerk, Lynne Ogden.  Their emails addresses are: and  All responses already sent in have already been shared with Paul and Lynne.


 August 2020 update: Affordable Housing Research August 2020 Update (original version)