This year’s winners of the Devon Rural Housing Partnership Outstanding Community Contribution award were Appledore Community Land Trust (CLT).
The CLT have worked tireless over 9 years to provide affordable rented housing for local people. The CLT directors, who are all born and bred in Appledore, bought the site themselves 9 years ago as there were so few suitable sites available in the village. They had to face many challenges including the 1 in 5 slope of the site which meant high costs in groundworks (levelling, retaining walls etc). After 2 housing associations were unable to make the scheme financially viable Aster Group stepped in and were able to design a scheme with help from grants from Homes England and Torridge District Council. There were also problems with access to the site with Torridge District Council and another Housing Association owning land between the adopted road and the site entrance.
All of these barriers have been overcome, with planning permission being granted in February 2017. Torridge District Council has allowed access over its land at no cost, the housing association have also allowed access after much work and support from its Residents’ Association, Torridge District Council and Homes England have made substantial grant allocations, Aster Group has contributed some of its own internal subsidy, and the scheme has started on site.
The award certificate was presented to the Chairman of the CLT, Cllr Andrew Eastman, by Elaine Cook, Chief Executive of Devon Communities Together. Also present were Peter Reveley and Philip Waters from the CLT, Karl Hine and Alyson Haynes from Aster Group who are the housing association who have developed and will manage the homes, Rachel Webdell, Strategic Enabling Officer from Torridge District Council and Janice Alexander, Rural Housing Enabler with the Devon Rural Housing Partnership.
The winner of the Devon Rural Housing Partnership Best Rural Development Award will be presented on 16th November at Thorverton Village Hall. The winners of this award were LiveWest for their development at Court Barton Close in Thorverton.
The photo shows Elaine Cook presenting the certificate to Cllr Andrew Eastman.
Pictured l – r Cllr A Eastman, Peter Reveley, Karl Hine, Elaine Cook, Janice Alexander, Philip Waters.