Page 34 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 34
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Considering the location Identifying where there is a need: When the decision is made to proceed with a new build scheme, the social housing provider should complete an ap- Latent need, site constraints and strengths praisal of all realistic and available site options by:- • Completing an initial appraisal of possible sites with reference to all relevant planning documents, particularly the development plan; • Identifying those sites that may be available and excluding those with major ownership impediments or other obvi- ous constraints; The identification of those locations where there is an existing housing need, along with the quantum and the detail of • Ensuring the practical availability of all services; that need, will normally be based on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s annual assessment. In addition however, • Identifying any other major technical impediments to development; and particularly in the countryside and within more remote rural communities, there is often an un-met latent social housing • Consulting with the local community and their elected representatives. (See Appendices A-C) demand, which is not identified through the normal analysis based on social housing waiting lists. Development options for social housing in rural Northern Ireland can be constrained by existing planning policy with its Where a local social/affordable housing need is confirmed, this should be followed by consultation with the local com- emphasis on directing grouped housing to within settlement limits as defined by local development plans. munity. Starting with local elected representatives and other local residents who have an understanding of their own community and its needs, followed by wider consultations providing the opportunity for input from all the community. Having completed an initial appraisal, the range of options should be rationalised by:- • Completing a detailed appraisal of all those sites that are identified as suitable and acquirable, including an initial appraisal of environmental or other major constraints, ASSESSMENT OF - Sending out NIHE/HA represenatives • Preparing initial concept plans that will indicate potential housing output and LATENT NEED IN - Advertising Community Community • Completing further consultation with the community and their elected representatives. - Consultation with Local represenatives & RURAL AREAS Community Organisations consultation consultation Demand ASSESSMENT OF UN-MET SOCIAL Site constraints and strengths SOCIAL HOUSING DISTRICT HOUSING HOUSING NEED Site identification Design DELIVERY NEED PLANS PROSPECTUS Site constraints can be physical, visual or social. Special design solutions, specific construction techniques, or mitigation Supply measures may be required to overcome or minimise them. RURAL ACTION DESIGN GUIDE PLAN for social housing in rural Site constraints can include: Northern Ireland There is merit in testing latent, social housing demand in those localities where there is a clear perception that this may exist. Often in the past, in the absence of the provision of any significant social housing in the countryside, the only avail- Topography Micro-climate Neighbouring uses Visual impacts “Bad” neighbours Contamination able housing was in nearby towns and villages. As a result many families and individuals with rural connections, in the absence of any alternative, moved out of their own community but retained the preference of moving back closer to their family and the community they grew up in. Hence the identification of latent demand requires thorough and extensive consultation including reaching out beyond the locality to contact those who have links with the community but at some time in the past have moved away. Fluvial flood risk Coastal flood risk Protected species Archaeology Infrastructure & utilities Conservation In 1991, in the ‘ground breaking’ rural policy statement “The Way Ahead”, by NIHE, adopted the principle of researching The most successful developments are based on designs which recognise and positively respond to the site’s attributes. latent demand. During the past twenty years there have been many such assessments, which have demonstrated la- This can provide greater distinctiveness and a historical connection with the area’s past. It often facilitates an accep- tent demand in a wide range of rural locations across the Region. These have been followed by the successful delivery tance of new development by local people and greater enjoyment by the residents. of significant numbers of social housing units. The method of identifying latent demand is now well established including:- • Liaison with local MLAs and Councillors, Site strengths can include: • Extensive consultation within the local community, • Arranging, where appropriate, public meetings in the locality, and • Advertising and informing a wider audience, including through local newspapers and other means of communica- tion, of the possibility of the provision of local social housing. Having completed extensive and thorough consultation, where a need is established, the number and type of houses required can then be finalised. Landmark buildings Attractive views Accessible facilities Areas of open space Interesting streetscape Micro-climate 34 35
   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39