Hastoe Development wins Best Partnership award

8 November 2021

Rural housing specialist, Hastoe Housing Association has won the ‘Best Partnership (south)’ category at the Inside Housing Development Awards, which celebrates the very best of residential development all over the UK.

At the last awards, Hastoe’s collaboration with Southwold Hospital won ‘Best Community Rural Partnership’. This time it picked up the trophy for its collaboration with Lavenham Community Land Trust (CLT), an organisation set up by community leaders in Lavenham, Suffolk, fuelled by a desire to provide more affordable housing in the village.

According to Zoopla, house prices in Lavenham have risen by 43% in the past ten years, pricing many out of the market. The CLT were determined to take the future of their neighbourhood into their own hands and reached out to Hastoe to help bring their vision of affordable homes for local people to life.

Together, Hastoe and Lavenham CLT transformed a disused maintenance depot into the first community land trust development in Suffolk. The partnership delivered 18 affordable homes, which was officially opened by James Cartlidge MP for South Suffolk earlier this year, who said:

This is an inspiring project and an exemplar of what can be achieved by ambitious communities and through collaboration between all the key local stakeholders. I would like to pass on my congratulations to all of the organisations and individuals involved."

James Cartlidge MP for South Suffolk

Carroll Reeve, Chair of Lavenham CLT says:

If there’s one word of advice I can offer to other community-led development partnerships, it’s perseverance. I know it might sound corny, but determination and a positive outlook really is needed when seeking solutions that will work for everyone. Peek Close was a truly collaborative effort, only achieved by working closely together. It would not have been possible without the contributions and commitment of all our partners.”

Carroll Reeve Chair of Lavenham CLT

The CLT and Hastoe worked with a number of local partners to bring the development to life, including the Rural Housing Enabler at Community Action Suffolk who was commissioned to carry out a Local Housing Need survey, the Housing and Strategic Planning teams at Babergh District Council, Parsons & Whitley architects, Duncan Cameron & Hutchinson contractors, and employer’s agent Potter Raper.

Works began to demolish the existing buildings on the site in September 2017, and construction of the new homes started in March 2018. Over £3.2million was invested into the development, including £799,000 grant funding from Homes England, and £95,000 from Babergh District Council.

Now fully occupied, thirteen of the Peek Close homes were available for affordable rent and five were offered through shared ownership to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.

The homes at Peek Close have also been built to a high sustainability standard, making them more affordable for residents to live in and run than other homes. This is a key approach in Hastoe’s commitment towards building net zero carbon housing by 2050.

We are delighted to have been awarded the Best Partnership Award. This reflects our commitment to working in partnership with communities on all our rural schemes. Lavenham has been a true collaboration of all partners involved and we are extremely proud of the finished scheme and that we provide 18 affordable homes to local people."

Ulrike Maccariello Development Director at Hastoe

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Photo credits: Jason Ahluwalia and Paul Starr.

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