Cheriton Bishop CLT (& Parish Council), Hastoe Housing Association & contractors, Mid Devon District Council.
A small group of Parish Councillors and other committed local people alongside rural housing enablers from Devon Communities Together have provided affordable housing for the community of Cheriton Bishop.
The need for affordable housing in Cheriton Bishop had been recognised by the Parish Council since at least 2005 but no land was available. At the behest of the Parish Council, in 2011 a public meeting was held in the Village Hall. From this first well-attended meeting, plans were developed and more meetings held. A Housing Needs Survey was carried out in 2012 by Devon Communities Together. A Community Land Trust (CLT) was incorporated in 2013 and rural enablers regularly attended the CLT meetings to offer support and advice, especially around need and allocations. The HNS was refreshed in 2014 showing a need for 19 affordable units.
The project met with a number of challenges along the way. Once a site was found the CLT needed to overcome local opposition and address ecological and other problems. Changes in affordable housing funding on a national level meant two housing associations previously appointed to take the project forward, were unable to in the end, through no fault of intention.
Eventually Hastoe Housing* were appointed as the Registered Provider who would build and manage the homes. Mid Devon District Council also provided extra funding for the scheme from their Community Housing Fund just for this special CLH purpose. The CLT would still be the title landowner and receive a ground rent for the homes of £4 per unit per year. This money will go towards community projects.
The planning application was passed unanimously. Construction began in September 2017 for the 8 new homes in Higher Shippon. They were developed in partnership with Walker Newton Architecture, contractors Classic Builders. The homes have been designed in a traditional style with a mix of materials to fit with the character of the village. They’ve been built to a high energy-efficient standard (AECB Silver) to help reduce fuel bills for residents. The development includes two 1-bedroom flats, two 1-bedroom houses, three 2-bedroom houses and one 3-bedroom house for affordable rent.
The completion of homes was realised in 2019 on a rural exception site. Speaking at the event, Richard Quallington, Vice Chair of Hastoe’s Board, said: “Homes built on rural exception sites are reserved solely for local people and must always be kept affordable. By working with the local community and parish council, we make sure our houses are designed and built to suit the local environment and meet real local housing need. Our homes often have a big impact on local village life too, helping to keep families together and local amenities open.”
All of the homes went to people with a local connection to Cheriton Bishop and will remain affordable and for local people, through the CLT, in perpetuity.
As a result of their hard work the Cheriton Bishop CLT were awarded the Devon Rural Housing Award for Outstanding Community Contribution in 2018 and Hastoe Housing received the award for Best Rural Development for the scheme in 2019. This scheme illustrates that with the hard work, commitment and perseverance of local people working with partnership agencies, good quality Community Led Housing can be brought forward in rural areas.
*Hastoe Housing Association
Hastoe is an award-winning housing association that owns and manages over 7,500 rented, shared ownership and leasehold homes across 70 local authority areas and 300 villages. Our homes are spread across the south of England from Norfolk to Cornwall. We hold charitable status and support both rural and urban communities by providing affordable and environmentally sustainable homes for local people.