Hook Norton group plan ambitious housing scheme

Community group 'Hook Norton Low Carbon' will host an open public meeting next week on plans for a low carbon footprint affordable housing development in the village.

By Stuart Prestidge
Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 3:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 1:10 pm
Charlie Luxton helped set up a low carbon car club in Hook Norton
Charlie Luxton helped set up a low carbon car club in Hook Norton

Following close consultation with Hook Norton residents, Hook Norton Low Carbon (HNLC), a community organisation dedicated to reducing the carbon foot print of the village, will host a meeting on Tuesday, February 26, at the Hook Norton Brewery form 7.30pm to discuss its findings.

The group held several public meetings and concluded members of the community need genuinely affordable, sustainable homes that could encourage a stronger community spirit and social contact.It became clear that villagers were tired of big housing developments that often turn out to be unaffordable for many and out of reach for low income households. Hook Norton residents were seeking an innovative, more grass roots approach to housing, one that would listen to their needs and take into account their ideas.

HNLC took up the challenge by gathering the views of the community about the opportunity to build a small group of affordable homes on a piece of derelict land within the village, owned by Cherwell District Council.

The Tuesday meeting will see Charlie Luxton Design present and talk through three proposals for the project.

Response to the village's need for an out of the box solution to housing has been supportive.Cherwell District Council agreed to make the land available at a nominal cost, or discounted price, to a newly formed Community Land Trust that would be set up to deliver and run the project for the benefit of the village in perpetuity.Councillors, Hugo Brown and John Donaldson attended a recent project meeting and confirmed their enthusiasm for community-led housing.

HNLC, supported by Low Carbon Hub, Oxford, are currently working with the Housing Strategy team at Cherwell for the project to be approved by the senior executive.

If the project is successfully completed it could act as a template and could be used extensively in Oxfordshire to enable other communities to take control of their housing needs. Affordable housing that is sustainable and well designed can be transformative and enhance the lives of its occupants.

The meeting is open to all and interested groups can contact HNLC at [email protected] for further information.