Hope for families in Budleigh Salterton as affordable homes discussions begin
The search for a suitable site in Budleigh Salterton to build much needed affordable housing for local families could be over, following discussions between the Town Council and landowner Clinton Devon Estates.
Just over a year after Clinton Devon Estates were first approached by the Town Council to release land at Greenway Lane allotments, the first outline plans for homes for local people were presented to the full council at their meeting this week (28th February 2011).
A number of options for the two and a half acre site, which has been leased by Clinton Devon Estates to the Town Council for many years for allotments, were presented to councillors for initial discussion. All options would see the town's allotment provision safeguarded and enhanced.
Leigh Rix, Head of Property and Land at Clinton Devon Estates said; "To be able to provide affordable housing for local people, along with high quality allotments, is a small but very important step towards helping to build sustainable communities. This is something the Estates are very committed to doing and we have been already been recognised for our efforts with two Queen's Awards for sustainable development."
At the meeting, councillors were told that their proposed development would be a mixture of affordable and open market homes, "designed and built to the very highest standards to enable sustainable, modern living which would encourage young families to stay in Budleigh Salterton, thus allowing it to thrive."
Leigh Rix told councillors; "When we were first approached by the Town Council regarding a proposed development at Greenway Lane, we were not in a position to progress with discussions because we were committed to other affordable housing projects elsewhere in East and North Devon. However, with our North Devon project now submitted, we feel we are well placed to enter into further discussions with the Town Council and with East Devon District Council over proposals for the Greenway Allotments site."
Mr Rix added; "As landowners, Clinton Devon Estates are keen to ensure the future economic success of our countryside and seaside towns and we can only do this by helping our local families to continue living here."
Chairman of Budleigh Salterton Town Council, Tom Wright said: "Finding land for affordable housing in the town has been a pressing concern and a priority for a long time now. Property in Budleigh Salterton is outside the reach of most first-time buyers and, as a Town Council, it is important we do our part to try and keep our local families here. We are delighted to be having further discussions with Clinton Devon Estates about plans for housing on the Greenway Lane site and we look forward to working closely with them to develop the plans further."
Councillor Wright added; "Being involved from an early stage will allow the council to obtain the best possible outcome for all, including current allotment holders."
Exeter-based architects Lacey Hickey Caley have been appointed to work with Clinton Devon Estates to develop plans for both the housing and the new allotments.
Architect John Baulch, who designed Clinton Devon Estates' award-winning Rolle Estate Office at Bicton Arena told councillors that among the sustainable features he would be considering for the new development would be solar hot water and kitchen gardens for each home. He said that for the allotments, he would be looking at features such as rainwater harvesting.
"All these suggestions are just going onto the drawing board at this stage and we are interested to hear more from local people about what they would like to see before we develop the final plans for a planning submission," added John Baulch.
Clinton Devon Estates are also working with Cornerstone, a local housing association which has developed high quality housing schemes for rent and for shared ownership. Cornerstone will be responsible for the ongoing management of the affordable homes and ensuring they are allocated to local families.
Clinton Devon Estates are holding a first open day at Budleigh Salterton Public Hall on Friday March 11th from 10:30am where the initial options will be on show and where local people are being invited to contribute their ideas for the scheme.
Councillor Tom Wright is urging everyone with an interest in the future of the Greenway Lane area of the town to get involved with discussions at the first possible opportunity. "I would strongly encourage people to come along, listen to the proposals and discuss their own ideas," he said.
Those leasing allotments will be invited to a special meeting to discuss plans for the relocation of the allotments plus their wish list for new features on site.
Further information and updates are available on the Clinton Devon Estates website: www.clintondevon.com
About Clinton Devon Estates
Clinton Devon Estates is involved in farming, sustainable forestry and timber products, deer management and residential property. It has a portfolio of commercial property across the South West and provides one of the region's best equipped equestrian event venues at Bicton. It also owns commons at Woodbury which form the major part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
Clinton Devon Estates has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development in 2005 and again in 2010, reflecting its commitment to conservation management through Countryside Stewardship Schemes and privately funded Estate led environmental initiatives.
The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths are managed by the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, a charity set up by Clinton Devon Estates to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the Pebblebed Heaths and the Otter Estuary for the benefit of future generations.
The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths are located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and have both UK and European designations, including a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
For more information please visit www.clintondevon.com
Cornerstone is a not-for-profit organisation and houses over 2000 people in 1200 homes in Exeter and the surrounding Districts. Cornerstone has An 85 year history of providing high quality social housing. Last year Cornerstone completed it's first housing scheme in East Devon at Parrys Farm Close, in Exmouth.