Marshfield community-led housing scheme gets green light to build

New homes


We’re delighted to announce that planning permission has been granted to build 18 new homes in Marshfield, South Gloucestershire.

The site is situated just outside of the village of Marshfield within the green belt with permission granted under South Gloucestershire Council’s Rural Exception site policy.

Marshfield Community Land Trust has developed the proposals; a community-led group that wish to address the shortage of affordable housing for local people. The trust has been supported by Middlemarch CIC and Brighter Places who will build and manage the affordable housing. This development wouldn’t have been possible without the landowner Mike Ball.

Affordable and sustainable homes

Marshfield Community Land Trust was established in 2016. Its initial focus has been on providing community-led affordable housing for people in housing need and a local connection. Houses prices in Marshfield do not reflect local earnings making it increasingly difficult for local people to afford to buy or rent in the area.  An extensive search took place to find a suitable site in Marshfield.

After two and a half years, a suitable site was found with a willing landowner but was located just outside of the village boundary on existing farmland. For the development to be considered appropriate, the scheme had to meet the requirements of the Rural Exception site policy. This required a survey to demonstrate the need for new homes. The homes would have to be affordable and to remain affordable, and be prioritised for local people in housing need.

Mixed tenure

Brighter Places will build 15 homes, with 12 affordable homes, including ten homes for social rent and two homes for shared ownership. In addition, there will be three open market homes to help create a balanced community and provide some cross-subsidy to assist the viability of the development. The landowner will also be retaining three plots for his family.

Homes England supported Marshfield Community Land Trust through their Community-Led Housing Fund to progress scheme feasibility and the planning application. The design was developed by architects Reed Watts through consultation with the local community and South Gloucestershire Council. The design process has sought to retain the balance between the requirements for affordable homes, sustainability and the sensitive context of the site. The development sits within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the green belt.

Work is set to begin this summer

The homes will be highly sustainable using ground source heat pumps to provide heating. The affordable homes will be built to certified Passivhaus standards ensuring low energy bills for future residents.

The planning application was confirmed by South Gloucestershire Council on 5 May 2021. It is anticipated that work will still start on site during the summer.

Anna Klimczak, CEO of Brighter Places, said: “We’re delighted by the granting of planning permission and the benefits this development will bring to the community in Marshfield. Working with and supporting communities is at the heart of what we do, and we can’t wait to see this project get built and provide much-needed homes for the residents of Marshfield”.

Marshfield Community Land Trust’s Chair Christine Eden, said: “This is another success for community-led housing and demonstrates that communities don’t have to be dependent on outside developers to address local housing need. Marshfield Community Land Trust, working with Brighter Places as our partners, will build homes that will remain affordable and available for local people in perpetuity. It feels very good to have reached this point.”