Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you proposing homes here?

The results of the Housing Needs Survey carried out in August 2021 by the Rural Housing Enabler of 'Rural Community Council of Essex' indicated there was a need for a development of affordable homes for local people in the Parish. 

The results identified a need for an affordable home from 25 households.  The Thaxted Community Land Trust Limited decided to act on these results and establish a project to provide local needs housing in the village to find a solution to the shortage of affordable rural homes.  These homes will be for people who are:

These homes can never be sold on the open market and they are reserved in perpetuity for local people. 

What is a "local connection"?

'Local' means a person who is:

How did you choose this site?

The Thaxted Community Land Trust Limited (TCLT) had previously worked with the Parish Council to explore affordable housing for local people.  This currently vacant site is owned by the Parish Council and was put forward for consideration. The land is leased to the TCLT.  The remainder of the land to the East of the proposed homes will be retained by the TCLT for community use. 

How will the affordable homes be paid for?

The  full development and management costs of the scheme will be met by English Rural Housing Association.  Housing Associations are "not for profit" organisations, which invest all their income into the business.  There are no profits or dividends for shareholders.   New developments are primarily financed from a combination of capital reserves and commercial borrowing.  English Rural receive some grant funding from Homes England (a Government agency) to help build the homes. 

What if there is no-one 'in need'?   Do you bring in people from further away?

If a future vacancy occurs in one of the homes and no one from Thaxted, with the qualifying connection, is in need at that time, then applicants with similar connections to neighbouring Parishes will be considered.  The names of the Parishes close to Thaxted will be agreed with the Local Authority and will be specified in the planning agreement.  However, it is very rare that to have to look for applicants from outside the Parish in which a development has been built. 

What safeguards are there?

Before planning permission is granted, we will enter into a legally enforceable planning agreement with the Local Authority to ensure that the affordable homes are allocated to local people and can never be sold on the open market.

Will tenants have a right to buy?

NO. The statutory Right to Buy applies to Council owned properties only. A similar, but less generous scheme, the Right to Acquire  is available to Housing Association tenants, but not those in smaller designated rural settlements.  The Parish has the designation of a smaller rural settlement and therefore tenants will not be able to buy or acquire their rented homes, thus preserving their affordable status for future generations of local people.

What timescale are you working to?

Following this consultation event and with the support of our partners, we will progress the detailed design of the development and assemble the many surveys and reports required to support a planning application.  These will include, amongst many others, the full consideration of current and proposed ecology, biodiversity, drainage and transportation.  Following a planning application, all documents will be viewable online via the Uttlesford DC planning portal.  The reason for this online consultation is to get your early feedback. 

We are aiming to submit a planning application later in the Spring with a view to commencing construction early in 2025.

What are the environmental credentials of these homes?

English Rural and TCLT share the philosophy that all new homes should be comfortable, safe, well designed and affordable.  It is important to ensure affordability extends to reducing running costs for residents, whilst also reducing the operational emissions of these homes.  A fabric first approach will be employed, ensuring that levels of insulation and airtightness exceeds minimum standards.  It is intended to provide all four homes with individual air source heat pumps, providing a low carbon form of heating and hot water.  A Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system will be installed in each home to recycle heat from the interior and remove unwanted pollutants and moisture from kitchens and bathrooms.  It is intended to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure to each home.  Every home will have a private garden within which will be provided a cycle store, water butt and clothes drying line to promote sustainability.

How will you deal with drainage?

It is our intention to build with as minimal impact on the environment as is possible.  A package treatment plant is proposed to capture and treat waste water without creating a burden on the existing foul drainage system which already runs at capacity.  Surface water run-off will be attenuated on site before being discharged to the existing ditch at a reduced discharge rate.  As with all aspects of the proposal, technical approval will be obtained from the relevant authorities to ensure that the works are fully compliant with legislation.  

How can I register for one of your homes?

English Rural and TCLT are asking people, who have a local connection and need an affordable home, and who are interested in applying for one of the proposed homes, to register their interest by clicking the tab at the top of the page.  Alternatively you can visit the English Rural website at .  If you prefer, you can also call 020 7820 7930 to request a form or speak to someone about registering. 

Interested applicants looking for an affordable rented home will also need to register with Uttlesford District Council and access to the online application is via Home Option partnership or telephone 01799 510510