Designed by Ian Parris © Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan
Happy New Year everyone!
This is the year we should complete our neighbourhood plan, and after satisfying an independent inspection, we will offer it to the village through a referendum exercise for its adoption.
Thanks to everyone who filled out the short survey that was sent to every house just before Christmas. This is to update our information about the local housing need, and enables us to consider this in the light of what space is available throughout the village.
People who returned surveys were once again put into our prize draw for £100, and we’re pleased to announce Mr and Mrs Goodman, who live on the Green, as our winners! Midlands Rural Housing managed the survey, and drew the lucky winners from over 270 returns. Our Chair, Tony Clewett presented them with their cheque, and we were amazed to find that Mr Goodman had been in the village for 80 years, and the cottage had been in his family since the year of the Great Exhibition (1851), the year that Yale locks, Singer sewing machines and refrigerators were patented!. The property has a fascinating history, and once had a brook flowing through the garden – even some floors had to be dug out so that people didn’t bump their heads on the beams. We hope they enjoy spending their £100 prize.
The village achieved a 38% return rate on the survey, which is considered to be a very good response. We’ll present the findings in detail next month, once the analysis report has been completed by Midlands Rural Housing. Early findings reflect the need for affordable rented accommodation and the need for small two bedded bungalows for people who already own properties within the village. MHR say that data from their review shows that first time buyers have more or less found themselves priced out of rural areas. They account for 30% of all mortgaged products in South Northants, compared with 53% in urban areas. Affordability is the main reason for this. Also, they found that over the last 5 years, Nether Heyford has, on the whole seen an increase in open market property values, across all property types. Prices have increased by £64,111 on average; a rise of almost 23%. Research suggests that properties come to the market in the village on a fairly frequent basis. 107 sales have completed since December 2014; 21 per year on average. However, MRH found that the house types to have increased in value are mainly terraced homes and flats. Decreasing values have been seen for some detached and semidetached properties.
The Neighbourhood Plan Group will get back up to speed now and prepare the plan for the next steps. We have to review the now completed independent evaluation of the sites available around the village, and see how this fits with MRH’s latest survey of need. We will be able to reflect on any changes since our last survey, and plan accordingly for the future. Once again, there is an open invitation to any villager who would like to join us in our open meetings usually held on the last Thursday of the month, at 7.30pm at the Youth Club in Robert’s Field.
Tony Clewett, Tom Dodd, Sue Corner and the NHNPG Group