Why do we need new homes in Exmoor?

The National Park experiences high house prices and rents which means that for many people with strong local connections it is difficult to find a home within their community.

Map showing areas of the National Park where recent Local Housing Needs Assessments have been undertaken.

Affordable Housing Need Assessment

Work has been carried out on behalf of the eight Parish Councils of Cutcombe, Exford, Exton, Luccombe, Luxborough, Timberscombe, Winsford and Wootton Courtenay to find out if there is a local, affordable housing need within these areas of the National Park. There was a perception that a lack of available, affordable housing may be driving people with a local connection to the Exmoor villages away from the area. 

Local affordable housing includes homes for those with a local connection to the Exmoor villages and can be delivered as discounted rent and ownership, social rent, shared ownership and supported housing. Potential occupiers must have a local connection to the area, for example, live or work in the area or have relatives or dependents in the area. The full criteria for local connection is set out in Exmoor Local Plan Policy HC-S3: Local Occupancy Criteria For Affordable Housing. The Local Plan can be viewed here

A housing needs survey was carried out on behalf of the eight Parishes Group in 2018 to establish whether there was a need for affordable housing in the local area. A survey was posted to all local residents and businesses giving them the opportunity to provide information on their present and future housing needs. This information was analysed and provided an evidence base for affordable housing across the eight parishes.

The survey and consultation work established that there is a need for new, affordable homes to be built for local people. The following mix and tenure need was indicated:

A full copy of the Housing Needs Survey can be found here.

In addition to the need identified in the Housing Needs Survey, there are also currently 13 households in local affordable housing need identified on the housing register (Somerset Homefinder) within the eight Parishes listed above, 10 of which have indicated a preference for Cutcombe. If you or anyone you know is in need of new housing for rent or ownership, in the first instance please register your details with Somerset Homefinder here.  

Site Selection Consultation

Following the Housing Needs Survey, separate public consultation was carried out by Exmoor National Park Authority and Somerset West and Taunton Council in 2021 to find out local opinion on available development sites that had been put forward. 

Within the consultation responses received, 65% of respondents supported development of local affordable housing at Dunkery View Farm. 25% neither supported or opposed and 10% opposed. Dunkery View Farm carried the highest level of local support and the lowest level of local opposition of the seven sites consulted upon across the eight Parishes. 

The full consultation report can be viewed here