New homes for Merton families

A new housing scheme providing affordable homes for local families in the North Devon village of Merton has been officially opened this week.

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New homes for Merton families

Built on Clinton Devon Estates land and developed by the affordable housing company DCH, Coldstream Gardens has provided six family homes.  The £715,320 scheme was supported by a £112,210 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The land on which the homes are built was provided at nil cost by Clinton Devon Estates as part of a planning agreement with Torridge District Council. The naming of the development recognises Merton’s long-standing association with the Coldstream Guards who received the Freedom of Merton in 2011. £715,320

The opening ceremony, which included Lord and Lady Clinton and members of DCH and Torridge District Council, provided an opportunity for the visitors to see how the new homes have helped six local families stay in their local community. Susie Quick, her husband Ben and their two daughters Lola 3, and Wren who is 7 months old, moved into Coldstream Gardens following years of living in private rented accommodation in the area which was expensive and didn’t meet their needs.

Susie Quick, a resident at Coldstream Gardens said: “Living in this house has been a dream come true for me and my family. Being near to our friends and family is so important to us, we were eager to live in the same area as them, now we live right across the road from my father meaning we can all spend quality time together. The way the homes have been built means they are well insulated and we save money on our bills, we have been able to get rid of our car as we can walk to our children’s school, making a real difference to our lives.”

Richard Connolly, Group Director of Development at DCH said: “There is a huge need for affordable housing across the south west, especially in rural communities. The partnerships with Torridge District Council, landowners Clinton Devon Estates and the local parish council are extremely important in providing vital new homes like the homes at Coldstream Gardens and we are pleased to be working with them. Just months on from moving in our residents have created a thriving community and we were delighted to come here to celebrate this achievement with them.”

Lord Clinton from Clinton Devon Estates said: “In order for rural communities to remain vibrant places to live and work a key driver is ensuring that there are affordable homes for local families.  Families who support the local economy, the school and the community in its widest sense.  I am delighted that the Estate has helped to enable this development of high quality homes, working in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, the Parish and District Councils.”

Philip Collins Leader for Torridge District Council said: “These houses have come about due to the support and successful partnership working of Clinton Devon Estates, Merton Parish Council, Torridge District Council and DCH. I thank everyone involved for making this project a reality. I am delighted that these homes are all occupied by tenants with a local connection. I am impressed with the quality of build - not only do they look good they strengthen the community of Merton.”

Asad Butt HCA area manager said: “As the agency which delivers affordable homes across England, we know how important schemes such as this one in Devon are. Good quality affordable housing has obvious social benefits but it also plays a key role in supporting the local economy, providing accommodation for people who wish to work locally, employment for construction workers and income for local businesses who benefit from people remaining in or moving into the area. I am really pleased to see this scheme officially celebrated and I hope all the residents have many more happy years in their homes.”

DCH also worked closely with Employers Agents for the scheme Randall Simmonds, the Architects - MTA Architects, and Contractors - local firm, Pearce Construction (Barnstaple). The homes are timber framed and benefit from air source heat pumps, achieving code for sustainable homes level 3.

Coldstream Gardens is one of many examples across Devon of DCH providing much needed homes in rural communities.  DCH is currently working with Torridge District Council and the HCA at a new development in Ashwater, which will see six new homes developed, as well as completing eight new homes at St Giles in the Wood two years ago, all for affordable rent for local people.

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002