February 2021

Back in mid-January our newly formed Community Land Trust (BNCLT) applied for planning permission in principle (PIP) for four affordable dwellings on a site adjacent to Sunnyside in the Western Village of Broadhembury.  On the 18 February that application was refused by EDDC planning department.

The reasons for EDDC’s refusal were:

  1. The site is in open countryside where residential development is resisted. It was not considered that the proposal constitutes Community Led Development, which permits an exception; and it had not been demonstrated that the need for affordable housing in this locality could not be met in other locations.
  2. The site is close to a number of heritage assets, which are designated as being Grade II listed. It had not been demonstrated that a development of four houses would not lead to substantial harm to the setting of those buildings.

The Report also noted that the Application did not have the support of the Parish Council and there was “a lack of evidence which demonstrates wider support from the community which could permit an exception site in this location”.

This represents a significant challenge for BNCLT, so we are seeking to work more closely with our members to develop other options. We aim to do this using Zoom meetings over a series of dates in the near future, with the hope there will be a date suitable for every member who would like to take part. Before that, we also want to go back to the EDDC planners to discuss which of these options they would see as acceptable and what additional flexibility they can offer to help us reach an outcome acceptable to all parties. We are also taking advice from Middlemarch, specialist advisers in the field of community led housing.  

We should all be aware that the rejection of the application leaves the way clear for commercial developers. However we gain strong reassurance from EDDC’s and BPC’s emphasis on the need for strong community support for any proposal. Our recent survey, which we will be distributing to Members very soon, indicates a very large majority of respondents are against any commercial development to secure Affordable Homes. This must be our prime aim until we are able to finalise, with Members’ support, a new plan.   

We would like to hear from as many of our members as possible, so please attend our zoom meetings to discuss the way forward.

The choice of dates is:  

Tuesday        9 March        10.30 am      7.30 pm

Wednesday  10 March      3 pm

Thursday      11 March      10.30 am     

Friday            12 March      7.30 pm

Saturday       13 March      3 pm

To book into one of the sessions please email Sara at

From the Trustees