Devon celebrates 6 new affordable homes in South Tawton

08/07/2019
On Friday 5 July, residents of South Tawton, local councillors and Mel Stride MP celebrated 6 new affordable homes in the village, as part of Rural Housing Week (1-5 July).
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The 6 homes at Cannonmede Cottages in South Tawton have been built on a rural exception site by specialist rural housing developer, Hastoe Housing Association, in close partnership with South Tawton Parish Council, West Devon Borough Council, Dartmoor National Park Authority and residents in the community. The development brings the number of affordable homes at Cannonmede Cottages to 10; four other affordable homes were completed by Hastoe in 1995.

Speakers at South Tawton opening

Speaking at the event, Hastoe Board Member Martin Huckerby said: “This development is really only possible thanks to the generous donation of land by local farmer Lawrence Jones. As with the other four homes, these six homes have been reserved solely for local people and must always be kept affordable. Working alongside the local parish council and the local community, we make sure our houses are designed and built in keeping with 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.”

The new development consists of one 1-bedroom house, two 2-bedroom houses and three 3-bedroom houses for affordable rent. All 10 of the homes are now fully occupied.

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At the celebration opening, a resident of Cannonmede Cottages, Sally Burt said: “I’m loving my new home. We used to rent a privately-owned cob cottage but it was very damp and it also had only 2 bedrooms so my 2 children, a boy and a girl, had to share. Having 3 bedrooms means they now have their own space and my youngest, Ruben who’s five, is sleeping much better. He’d never settle because he was afraid of the bunk bed above him. Also, previously we lived on a road that was a short cut for drivers and it wasn’t safe. Now, living in a cul-de-sac, means when they come back from school they can play outside with the other kids. It feels like a real home and we’re part of our own little community.”

Houses at South Tawton 

Hastoe worked closely with South Tawton Parish Council in delivering the six new homes to help meet the need for more affordable housing in the village. Construction began in June 2017 and the new homes were developed in partnership with architects Walter Newton, contractors Coyde Construction, and employer’s agent Randall Simmonds.

The homes have been designed in a traditional style with a mix of materials to fit with the character of the village. They’ve also been built to a high energy-efficient standard to help reduce fuel bills for residents.

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Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon, marked the official completion of the housing scheme by cutting a ribbon and planting a tree, and emphasised the importance of building homes in rural areas: “Delivering homes within Dartmoor National Park is not easy given the planning restrictions which are rightly in place to protect our beautiful part of Devon. But this development is proof that well-thought-out, eco-friendly homes built in the right places can really add to the park and help more local families be able to afford a place of their own.”

Cllr Andrew Sampson, Chair of South Tawton Parish Council, said: “This new development of six homes makes a valuable addition to the four other houses built by Hastoe in 1995. These homes are not only pleasing to the eye, they provide a safe place to live in a beautiful part of Devon right on the national park. I want to thank everyone who made it possible.”

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Cllr Lynn Daniel, Ward Councillor for South Tawton, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for a relatively small rural village on Dartmoor to provide local homes for local people. Officers from the Council, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Hastoe worked collaboratively on this project to provide much needed affordable housing. We are very grateful to Hastoe, as they have delivered a small scheme in comparison to what is normally delivered, which proves their ethos of delivering local housing for local people. All of the properties were allocated through Devon Home Choice, Hastoe Housing Association has given the occupants of these homes the opportunity to live in a home in a village where they have their local connections such as work and support from family.”

Flowers South Tawton 

Cllr Philip Sanders, Chair of the Development Management Committee for the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA), said: “It’s only through the close co-operation and collaboration of everyone involved that has made this possible. First of all by sitting down and talking about what we want to achieve, then by working together to make sure it happened. Cannonmede Cottages is a great example of partnership working at its best.”

 Cllr Philip Sanders at South Tawton opening

Permission for the scheme was given by Dartmoor National Park Authority. Forward Planner Dan Janota, said: “As a planning authority we are keen to promote development that’s appropriate to a vibrant and sustainable National Park. The new cottages in South Tawton accord entirely with the aims of our Local Plan and are another example of our desire to keep Dartmoor’s communities alive and healthy for generations to come. It was good to work with some great partners on this project and deliver what we know will be much-loved and homes.”

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