Neil Parish MP opens Hastoe’s first Community Land Trust housing development

Neil Parish MP has officially opened Hastoe’s first Community Land Trust (CLT) housing development in rural Hemyock, Devon.
Hemyock openingIt was an even bigger occasion as Hastoe welcomed guests to a seminar on community-led rural housing following the opening.

This affordable housing development was built in partnership with Upper Culm CLT and promotes a new community-led approach to development.

The development was the CLT’s first initiative and meets the need of families with a strong local connection to Hemyock. Hastoe has entered into a long-term lease with the CLT and will manage and maintain the houses alongside existing homes in the community. The Hemyock homes meet the Homes and Communities Agency Design and Quality Standards and are also eco-friendly, achieving the Code for Sustainable Homes level 4.

The Upper Culm Community Land Trustwas formed in 2012 from the Hemyock and Clayhidon parishes in Mid Devon and is chaired by Heather Stallard. A CLT is a not-for-profit organisation run by local volunteers to help improve or protect their neighbourhood for long-term community benefit.

Local developer, Andy Lehner of West of England Developments (WoED), offered the Hemyock site to the CLT for housing in 2012. Planning approval was granted in April 2013 and work started on site in July 2013 in partnership with Hastoe.

Clare Bruton-Young,38, lives in a two-bedroom house on the Hemyock development. Clare is paying affordable rent and lives there with her two year old daughter, Charlie. She said: “The whole process of getting the house was very easy and there was no stress. I’m a firm believer in the fact that the best things come to those wait and everything is dropping into place. It may sound corny but when I was handed the keys to the house I felt like they were the keys to our future. It’s such a lovely, good quality house and, for a two bed, the layout is fantastic and it’s such a useable and practical space.”

Kevin Hartnett, Business Development Director at Hastoe, said:“We are pleased to have completed these homes for the local people of Hemyock who were in need of affordable housing. In areas such as this, private rents and home ownership can often be out of reach for some families and overall provision is scarce.

“Hastoe is passionate about involving the community in all new housing developments; however a CLT scheme is about a continuing partnership and community cohesion from the beginning of the development process, throughout the build and beyond. This is one of four CLT projects that Hastoe has been developing with funding from the HCA.”

The purpose of the seminar, entitled ‘Community led rural housing Seminar: Issues - Challenges - Experiences’ was to share learning from a range of expert speakers and organisations. The seminar raised awareness about community-led housing models andthe challenges that housing associations and rural communities face when building rural exception sites. Additionally, the seminar generated debate about development and allocations issues as well as broader policy which impacts on rural housing delivery.

The seminar was a great success and was hosted by Margaret Clark, Hastoe Group Chairman, with speakers Matthew Dodd, Homes and Communities Agency; Heather Stallard, Upper Culm Community Land Trust; Neil Parish MP; Claire Fry, Mid Devon District Council and Kevin Hartnett, Business Development Director, Hastoe.


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