Braithwaite (Allerdale Borough Council)

 

Introduction
Location

The village of Braithwaite is two miles west of Keswick along the A66, within the boundaries of the Lake District National Park.

Demographics
Braithwaite is in the parish of Above Derwent, which has a population of about 1,185 in 665 households. (i)

Case study
The case study in Braithwaite was on Ashcroft Close, a development of six two and three-bedroom houses owned by Mitre Housing Association.

Profile of the Village
1. Important attributes for residents living in Braithwaite

  • 60% liked the scenery and location.
  • 40% also liked the community.
  • 20% liked being nearer to family.

2. Services available in the village

  • Cafe
  • Campsite
  • Public house
  • Primary school
  • Village hall

There are many services in Braithwaite. It seems that the school is of particular importance for the sustainability of the village.

3. School
Braithwaite has one C of E primary school for children aged 4-11.
The details of the October 2000 OFSTED inspection report are as follows:

  • 94 children.
  • No children have started in the last few years.
  • Above average in English, maths and science.
  • ‘The quality of teaching is good.’

4. Police and fire

  • The nearest police station is in Keswick. The station is not staffed 24 hours a day.
  • There is no fire station in Braithwaite, the nearest being in Keswick which is staffed part-time.

5. Transport

  • There is a bus service with at least one bus every two hours, six days a week, running from Keswick to Penrith.
  • The nearest railway stations are in Penrith (main line to the west) and Workington (branch line to the west).
  • An adult single fare to Keswick is £1, and an adult single fare to Penrith is £3.55.
  • 79% of residents have access to a car. (ii)

6. Local employment
Information on the local employment for Braithwaite was produced by the Ward Councillor:

  • Tourist industry.
  • Service industry: hotels, shop, pubs.
  • Most residents commute to Keswick.
  • Some residents commute to west Cumbria.

7. Weekly average incomes
Cumbria Rural Housing Trust’s Rural Housing Strategy details weekly average incomes in Allerdale based on an average of figures available from Cumbria County Council, New Earnings Survey and the Office of National Statistics. Averages were used as figures varied greatly: this information should therefore be used only for illustrative purposes. Employees on an average income would therefore need 9.5 times their annual salary to buy an average-priced house on the open market.

District

Gross Weekly Income Weekly Income Low Pay High Pay Average annual Salary
Allerdale BC £352.00 285.00 144.00 476.00 £18,304
*Note: Disposable income = 19% deducted from gross to take into account tax, NI and pension contributions

8. The cost of a bag of shopping
There is no shop in Braithwaite, so comparisons on the cost of a bag of shopping could not be made.

Current housing provision in Braithwaite
1. Case study – Ashcroft Close

  • Mitre Housing Association has one two-bedroom house and five three-bedroom houses.
  • They were completed in 1998.
  • No houses have been lost through Right to Buy.
  • The properties are restricted by a Section 106 agreement.
  • The rents are not restructured.
  • The properties are Council Tax banding B and C.

Type of accommodation

Rent (per week) Service charge (per week)
1 x 2-bed house £62.91 £0.57
6 x 2-bed bungalows £70.59 £0.57
 

2. Other RSL provision

  • Home Housing has one three-bedroom property in Croft Terrace.
  • This was completed in 1939.
  • The other five properties in this site have been lost through Right to Buy.
  • Home Housing has one two-bedroom house and five three-bed houses in Longcroft.
  • These were completed in 1956.
  • The weekly rent for a three-bedroom house is £51.49.
  • The other seven properties in this site have been lost through Right to Buy.
  • Home Housing has two two-bedroom bungalows, and two three-bedroom houses in Beechcroft
  • These were completed in 1969.
  • The weekly rent for a three-bedroom house is £58.38.
  • The other six properties in this site have been lost through Right to Buy: one was sold on 22 March 1999 at a market value of £65,000 ­discount 60%.
  • Home Housing has six one-bedroom bungalows and two one-bedroom flats also in Ashcroft Close.
  • These were completed in 1985.
  • None of the properties was lost through Right to Buy.
  • Home Housing has five two-bedroom houses and seven three-bedroom houses with shared ownership in Ashcroft Close.
  • These were completed in 1998.
  • Current values for these properties are between £90,000 and £120,000.
  • A total of 40 properties have been lost through Right to Buy or full shared ownership staircasing (staged purchasing) within Braithwaite.

3. Council Tax banding
Allerdale Borough Council reported that the majority of properties in RSL ownership would be either A, B or C. Council Tax bandings Detached no data available for Above Derwent are as follows.

Council Band A £772.47
Council Band B £901.21
Council Band C £1,029.96
Council Band D £1,158.70

4. Housing market prices (Jan-March 2003) (iii)

Detached no data available
Semi-Detached £198,750
Terraced no data available
Flat £149,145
Average House Price £173,947

 

Key statistics

  • There are 25 social housing properties for rent in Braithwaite, which equates to 4% of properties in the parish of Above Derwent.
  • 48% of total social landlord stock has been lost through Right to Buy. This figure includes social landlord stock where Right to Acquire does not apply. This figure does not include properties built specifically for shared ownership.
  • Allerdale Borough Council records that about 18% of properties in the parish receive 50% discount on council tax. The 1991 Census records 210 properties or 32% of properties where the accommodation was not used as a main residence.
  • Using 1991 Census information the ratio of affordable housing to non-permanent-residence homes is 1:8.

1. Case study return rate
There was a 50% response rate from the case-study questionnaire showing reasons why residents had been allocated a property and employment details.

2. Reasons why people were allocated a property

  • 33% of respondents originated from the village.
  • 33% of respondents moved to be closer to family in the area.
  • 33% of respondents had children in the school.

3. Employment information
In the respondents’ households we found the following:

  • 33% of respondents worked full time.
  • 66% of respondents worked part time.
  • All respondents had use of a car so could commute to work if necessary.
  • 33% of respondents worked locally.
  • 66% of respondents commuted with a distance ranging from 2 miles round trip to 12 miles round trip.

Case study planning details: ref no: (7/95/2066)
1. Housing need
Cumbria Rural Housing Trust conducted a survey in the parish of Above Derwent in 1996 which identified 40 households in need of affordable housing. Twenty-one households were couples or individuals living in lodgings or with parents and relatives and wishing to set up their first independent home. The survey found four households looking to rent, 21 to rent or buy, and the remaining 15 to buy only.

A previous survey in 1992 was used as the basis for development of Ashcroft Close.

In 2003 CRHT completed a housing needs survey which identified seven further households in need of affordable housing for rent or shared ownership within the next five years.

2. Timescale for permission
Application date: 16.03.95
Decision date: 06.12.95 (after various site visits)
Planning permission notice date: 21.03.97
The actual time to receive planning approval was nine months. But the process of land acquisition and the subsequent signing of the Section 106 agreement delayed the issue of the actual planning permission notice, giving an overall timescale of two years.

3. Planning policy at the time of the development
This site was considered under the exception site policy.

The site had been refused planning permission for homes for the elderly in 1985 and dismissed at appeal as insufficient housing need had been established.

4. Opposition and support to the scheme
The planning application attracted opposition in the form of two letters and a 36-name petition from local people. The main basis for objection appeared to be the increase in traffic along adjacent roads, increase in parking requirements, loss of visual amenity, and proximity of the site to the A66 and subsequent noise levels.
The district council, the parish council and the highways department all supported the development.

Importance and impact of affordable housing in Braithwaite

‘Braithwaite is overloaded with council and affordable housing. The village has enough council/low cost housing. It has begun to alter the village in an unacceptable way.’

  • Affordable housing has helped to maintain family links for the tenants.
  • Affordable housing is generally thought a good idea.
  • The tenants of the affordable housing site all have local connections.
  • There was no effect on local businesses when the affordable housing site was built.
  • Children in the affordable housing site attend the local school, and this has helped to keep it running.

Parish council views
The Parish Council made no further comments.
 
Conclusion
There appears to be no strong reason why this village should not be able to sustain itself. The school is seen as a focal point holding the village together. The school also appears to be the only service which has been noticeably affected by the affordable housing site, as residents from the site attend. No other service has seen an increase in custom so we can assume that few or no incomers live in the site. It has also been suggested that Braithwaite is economically stable because it is near Keswick, an area of employment.

All the respondents to the questionnaires were very happy living in the village, with the only complaint being the lack of activities for older children. The only negative comment about the affordable housing was that there were enough housing sites within the village and that more would mar its appearance. This correlates with the opposition in the planning stages to the loss of visual amenity. However, most people viewed the site positively and commented that the site is very well designed and far more sympathetic than much of the owned housing. The housing site could then be seen as a positive element: socially it has helped family ties and helped the school; economically affordable housing is needed due to the expensive property values; and environmentally the site’s appearance is in keeping with the village.

Sources:
i Cumbria County Council 1997 Local Profiles, www.cumbria.gov.uk - Office for National Statistics, Information and Intelligence 1997
ii Cumbria County Council 1997 Local Profiles, www.cumbria.gov.uk
iii Land Registry www.landregistry.gov.uk and upmystreet.com
iv www.nationalstatistics.gov.uk