New Affordable Housing coming soon to Houghton
You will be aware that Test Valley Borough Council, following consultation with Houghton Parish Council, gained planning consent last year for a development at Houghton Farm, which will include four two-bedroom houses as affordable housing.
The four houses will be owned and managed by VIVID, and let as affordable rent through the council’s waiting list via Hampshire Home Choice.
Affordable rented homes are let at rents which are charged at no more than 80% of market rents, inclusive of any service charges. To qualify for affordable rented housing, you must have an assessed housing need and a local connection to the village. To find out whether or not you would qualify for an affordable rented home, and for details of how to apply please visit the Hampshire Home Choice website via this link: https://www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk/
CCTV - further update
Further questions were raised by the Houghton Community Benefit Fund during mid-July, following a second application submitted on 23rd June 2021. Hopefully these issues have now been addressed and we await a decision from them - they are due to meet on 8th September. Until further funds are released, the installation contractor, elected by the Parish Council, is unable to proceed.
Amendments are still being carried out to relevant documents and procedures as a result of communication between the Benefit Fund, Parish Council and the Project Team.
Consultation with residents has been expanded to include a short paper survey in the new Houghton Village News, which is being delivered free of charge to each household. Also some of the Project Team will be present at the regular village Coffee Morning on Saturday 21st August, in order to answer any questions residents may have about the project.
Dennis Stephens, CCTV Project Team
Further to the information below, three separate site visits have now been undertaken by potential installers with a view to providing quotes for the installation phase of the project.
On the 28th April a demonstration was conducted at North Houghton in order to establish the effectiveness and practicalities of the proposed CCTV system. Those present included our Consultant and Technical Support from manufacturers of the type of equipment that could be installed. I was also present during the tests which ran from 1300 hours to 1700 hours. The results were very positive and provide a clearer idea of the challenges once installed.
The demonstration included a briefing and run through a Video Management System which can be operated remotely via a laptop /iPad/mobile.
When the three quotes have been prepared they will be forwarded to the Parish Council for a definitive decision and agreement to request the Benefit Fund for the release of funding.
It is anticipated that the quotations will be available in the next 10 days or so.
CCTV for the Parish
During the latter part of 2020, responding to increasing crime and more serious incidents, a working group in conjunction with the Parish Council started researching the potential for a village CCTV system.
Following a series of village-wide emails, personal contacts and Parish Council discussions, several onsite discussions took place with a number of consultants and resulted in a submission for funding to the Houghton Community Benefit Fund. The application for consultants' fees was subsequently agreed, which will enable the preparation of necessary Data Protection documents including a Risk Assessment, identifying suitable locations and sourcing installation quotes.
Once the first phase of assessment has been completed the Parish Council will consider options and at each stage will fully discuss the project at forthcoming PC meetings when decisions are made. Also as usual residents can contact the PC via email or telephone.
The Parish Council will retain responsibility for the ownership and management of the system, providing a Data Controller and nominated personnel who will be able to access images as and only when incidents occur, for example reported crime including fly tipping or serious incidents at the request of Hampshire Constabulary.
Where other opportunities arise, questions from residents will be addressed. This website will be updated regularly with progress of the project, in addition to coverage at Parish Council meetings, which of course can be attended by residents.