Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you proposing homes here?

When proposals were first put forward for affordable housing Action Hampshire carried out a Parish Housing Needs Survey in 2014 which identified 83 families in need of affordable housing indicating a need for a development of affordable homes for local people in the Parish.

The results identified a need for a mix of shared ownership and homes for rent but after consultation with the Parish Council a scheme of all rented homes was agreed.

New Forest District Council have confirmed that the demand for affordable housing in the parish still remains.

  • Unable to afford to buy in the Parish;

  • Who cannot find rented accommodation; and

  • Who have a strong local connection to the village and the community

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

How did you choose this site?

In the work previously carried out with Copythorne Parish Council, 27 rural exception sites were initially considered by Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing (HARAH) . In 2017 these had been refined down to 3 sites through consultation on availability, affordability, and suitability.

Since the last discussions between the Parish Council and HARAH, English Rural have continued to update the Parish Council and work with the landowner of site 5 (The Haywain), as a rural exception site so a small scheme of 10 affordable rented homes could be delivered.

What has influenced the design?

The proposed new dwellings are designed to reflect the scale and form of surrounding properties. At two storeys, it is proposed that the buildings will have similar roof lines to neighbours and will echo the gable ends and hipped roofs typical of the area. A sensitive palette of materials will include high quality brickwork at ground floor level, complemented by timber weatherboarding and slate roofs above. These materials, together with the arrangement of dwellings around a shared central courtyard, will contribute to a character reminiscent of a farmstead. Through this arrangement and architectural character, the proposals offer strong place-making together with connection to the rural-edge setting.

How will the affordable homes be paid for?

English Rural will make a grant application to Homes England. If successful the remainder of the development cost will be financed by English Rural.

Housing Associations are "not for profit" organisations, which invest all their income into the business. There are no profits or dividends for shareholders.

What is a "local connection"?

'Local' means a person who is:

  • Currently resident in the parish;

  • Was previously resident in the parish and wants to return;

  • Is permanently employed in the parish; or

  • Is connected by close family still living in the parish

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 Copythorne, 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 Copythorne will be agreed with NFDC, NFNPA and the Parish Council and will be specified in the planning agreement. However, it is very rare that we 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 the Parish Council, 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 New Forest National Park Authority planning portal. The reason for this online consultation is to get your feedback and review the comments of local people before making a planning application.

We are aiming to submit a planning application Spring 2022, with a view to commencing construction later the same year.

How can I register for one of your homes?

NFVHA and English Rural 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 our website at and read more about what we do. 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 New Forest District Council. Access to the online application is via Homesearch Housing Register or telephone 023 8028 5222 and select Option 3.