Risby is a small village in West Suffolk with a population of approximately 866 people. It is situated approximately 3 miles west of Bury St Edmunds.
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Risby Parish Council has always recognised the need for a range of housing to suit the community – and affordable housing is no exception. In recent years, they’ve been contacted on several occasions by residents of Risby in need of affordable housing. Although there is some affordable housing in Risby, it doesn’t meet the current demand.
The Parish Council have been keen to tackle the problem. They’ve already carried out two Housing Needs Surveys (HNS), one of which led to a Rural Exception Site being built with 6 homes.
In August 2020, they were contacted by CAS to find out if they would be willing to carry out a Housing Needs Survey. Data from West Suffolk Council’s Housing Team suggested that there were 21 people on the housing list with a local connection to Risby.
They agreed to undertake the HNS, which will help establish the extent of the housing need and what types of properties are required to meet this need. What’s more, they’ll hear the views of residents about future housing in Risby.
It’s not always easy, of course. In any community, opinion is often divided between people who support housing, particularly if it meets local need, and people who oppose any form of housing.
But the Council have been glad of the support from CAS.
‘I have worked with Sunila (Rural Housing Enabler at Community Action Suffolk) on two projects recently,’ says the Council Clerk. ‘I have found her very approachable and easy to work with. I have enjoyed working with her and hope to continue to do so in future.”
For more information, email sunila.osborne@communityactionsuffolk