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Cumbria Choice

South Lakeland DC

1.     Introduction

This document sets out a Local Lettings Policy for former Council homes, now owned by South Lakes Housing, in the district of South Lakeland in accordance with para. 5.13 of the Cumbria Choice Allocation Policy.

The aim of the policy is to assist with achieving sustainability in rural communities and support people with a local connection to retain their links with their communities.  In particular it sets out to help rural communities retain families who are often priced out of local housing markets.  The settlements covered by the policy have lost most of the stock of family council housing through the right to buy and the few remaining family homes are rarely available for re-let. This Policy is consistent with the Government’s revised Statutory Guidance on ‘Providing Social Housing to Local People’, the ‘Allocation of accommodation’ guidance for local housing authorities in England 2012 and ‘Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012.

2.     Properties covered by the policy

2.1  The local letting policy described here is for houses and bungalows owned by South Lakes Housing in the settlements listed.  These are all settlements where evidence from Housing Needs Surveys demonstrates that the small number of lets usually available annually is insufficient to meet existing housing need in the parishes concerned. 

2.2  The policy also follows the principles of the Council’s planning approach which is set out in the Core Strategy i.e. requirement that new affordable homes include a local occupancy restriction to the Local Area Partnership area.   

2.3  The settlements included either have a population of less than 3000 which are “designated rural areas” or within a National Park.  (Designated areas under 1980 Statutory Instrument 1345 Housing Right to Buy (Designated Regions) Order)

2.4  The settlements listed are those which still contain some former Council homes which are unprotected by s106 agreement or Covenant.

(NB. Most properties in South Lakeland owned by Housing Associations other than South Lakes Housing are already subject to a Covenant or Section 106 Agreement (Town and Country Planning Act 1990) which imposes local occupancy restrictions.  The local occupancy restriction in a s106 or Covenant continue to apply under Choice Based Lettings and will be detailed in the advert for the property)

2.5  Flats in the settlements listed are not covered by the local lettings policy.

2.6  Sheltered Housing is not included in this local lettings policy.

3.     Priority under local letting policy

In the case of a letting of a house or bungalow in these settlements the following priority will be applied.

Priority will be given to applicants with a local connection to the Local Area Partnership area where the property is located or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres. In the case of Kendal the locality will also include the Upper Kent, South Westmorland, Lakes, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale local area partnership areas. In the case of Ulverston the locality will also include High Furness.

For settlements outside of the Service Centres priority will be given to eligible applicants who live or work within the immediate parish. Due to the special status of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it is proposed that this will apply to all settlements within the South Lakeland part of the AONB.

The table below lists the LAP areas and the settlements containing Council properties which are located in each LAP.

Local Area Partnership

 

Parishes included in LAP area

Settlements containing Council  homes covered by Local letting policy

 Lakes

 

Lakes, Windermere, Skelwith.

Ambleside, Bowness, Chapel Stile, Elterwater, Grasmere, Windermere

 High Furness

Coniston, Torver, Satterthwaite, Claife, Hawkshead, Duddon, Kirkby Ireleth, Colton, Lowick, Blawith & Subberthwaite.

Bouth,  Broughton in Furness, Coniston, Finisthwaite, Hawkshead, Kirkby in Furness,  Satterthwaite, Spark Bridge

Ulverston & Low Furness

Aldingham, Pennington, Urswick, Ulverston, Egton with Newlands, Mansriggs, Osmotherley

Gleaston, Leece, Little Urswick, Great Urswick, Swarthmoor, Broughton Beck, Penny Bridge

 Grange & Cartmel

Haverthwaite, Lower Allithwaite, Lower Holker, Grange-over-Sands, Broughton East, Upper Allithwaite, Staveley-in-Cartmel, Cartmel Fell.

Allithwaite, Backbarrow, Cark in Cartmel, Cartmel, Flookburgh, Haverthwaite, Lindale

 South Westmorland

Burton-in-Kendal, Hincaster, Holme, Lupton, Hutton Roof, Arnside, Beetham, Preston Patrick, Preston Richard, Sedgwick, Stainton, Natland, Milnthorpe, Heversham, Crosthwaite & Lyth, Witherslack, Meathop & Ulpha, Helsington, Levens, Crook, Underbarrow & Bradleyfield .

Arnside, Beetham, Burton, Crook, Crooklands, Crosscrake, Crosthwaite, Endmoor, Farleton, Hincaster, Holme, Levens, Lupton, Mealbank, Meathop, Milnthorpe, Natland, Newbiggin, Oxenholme*, Sedgwick, Stainton, Storth, Witherslack

 

(*Oxenholme participates in the Kendal LAP but is considered a rural community for housing purposes)

Sedbergh & Kirkby Lonsdale

Kirkby Lonsdale, Mansergh, Casterton, Barbon, Middleton, Dent, Garsdale, Sedbergh, Killington, Firbank.

Barbon, Casterton, Dent, Kirkby Lonsdale,Sedbergh,

Upper Kent

Longsleddale, Fawcett Forest, Whitwell & Selside, Whinfell, Docker, Lambrigg, Grayrigg, New Hutton, Old Hutton & Holmescales, Burneside, Skelsmergh & Scalthwaiterigg, Kentmere, Staveley-with-Ings.

Burneside, Grayrigg, Ings, New Hutton, Old Hutton, Staveley

4.     How local priority works

4.1  Local connection is defined in the same way as South Lakeland District Council’s Core Strategy (see paragraph 6 below and Appendix 2).

4.2  When a home from the settlements above is advertised priority will be given to the applicants from the local area partnership area or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres over other applicants with no local connection to the LAP area whatever band the applicant has been placed in. (NB Applicants will need to indicate localities where they have a local connection in their application form and will need to  be able to provide proof)

4.3  The person with a housing need with the highest priority from Bands A to D who also has a local connection to the Local Area Partnership area or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres will normally be the successful applicant.  This is subject to the house size and type being regarded as suitable for the needs of the applicant in accordance with Appendix 4 of the Cumbria Choice policy.  In instances where the applicant would not fully occupy the property South Lakes Housing will consider supply and demand in the locality in deciding if the let is suitable for the applicant.

4.4  Applicants from outside the Local Area Partnership or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres would only be considered in the case when no one from the relevant LAP area who is eligible and would suitably occupy the home requests the property. 

5.     The South Lakeland Local Letting Policy will be reviewed at least annually

A group comprising representatives from South Lakeland District Council and South Lakes Housing will review the policy to ensure that it is meeting the aims described in s1.  The group will consider evidence including

a) evidence of housing need from the waiting list and housing needs surveys

b) evidence from lettings of properties in the area covered by the local lettings policy, including demand and the priority band of the bidders. 

c) evidence of demand from across the South Lakeland Area.

d) Consultation with stakeholders such as Cumbria Rural Housing Trust and parish councils / affordable housing groups in the areas covered by the Local Lettings Policy.

6     Definition of local connection

6.1  An applicant has a local connection to the locality of the LAP or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres if any of the following apply:
‘local connection’ is defined as:

  • The intended household has, immediately prior to such approval, been continuously resident in the locality for three years; or
  • The intended household has, immediately prior to such approval, been permanently employed for a minimum of 16 hours per week, or has a firm permanent job offer in the locality for a minimum of 16 hours per week. Permanent employment will be taken to include contracts for a minimum of one year’s continuous employment, and the self-employed, on provision of evidence of a viable business; or
  • They are currently in the Armed Forces and immediately before moving to this type of accommodation they lived in the locality for at least three years; or are an existing or former member of reserve forces and suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their service; and immediately before moving to this type of accommodation they lived in the locality for at least three years; or
  • They are a bereaved spouse or civil partner of those serving in the regular forces and are no longer entitled to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation and the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service and immediately before moving to this type of accommodation they lived in the locality for at least three years; or
  • They are currently in prison, in hospital or similar accommodation whose location is beyond their control and immediately before moving to this type of accommodation they lived in the locality for at least three years; or
  • Former residents (who previously lived in the locality for a period of at least three years) who wish to return to the locality having completed a post-secondary (tertiary) education course within the past three years; or
  • They need to live in the locality either because they are ill and/or need support from a relative who lives in the locality, or because they need to give support to a relative who is ill and/or needs support who lives in the locality. Proof of illness and/or need of support will be required from a medical doctor or relevant statutory support agency; or
  • On advice from an appropriate professional it is clear that they need to live in the locality due to reported domestic violence, harassment and/or hate crime at a previous locality within South Lakeland and moving to the locality will reduce risk of harm and enable support, employment and/or educational needs to be met; or
  • They previously lived in the locality for most of their lives and left the locality less than ten years ago (“Most of the applicant’s life” will be interpreted as over half of the applicant’s life up to the point that they left the locality, or a continuous period of twenty years up to the point they left the locality); or
  • They lived continuously in the locality for two years or more prior to being accepted as homeless under the Homelessness Act 2002 and placed in any form of temporary accommodation outside of the locality for up to a maximum of two years  
  • They spent at least ten years of their school education in the locality. 

6.2  'Locality' is defined as the local area partnership or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres, as defined by the Council (see table above).

Priority will be given to applicants with a local connection to the Local Area Partnership area where the property is located or parishes immediately adjacent excluding key service centres. In the case of Kendal the locality will also include the Upper Kent, South Westmorland, Lakes, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale local area partnership areas. In the case of Ulverston the locality will also include High Furness.

For settlements outside of the Service Centres priority will be given to eligible applicants who live or work within the immediate parish. Due to the special status of the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, it is proposed that this will apply to all settlements within the South Lakeland part of the AONB. 

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