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CPRE chief executive opens affordable housing project in rural Devon

20 October 2014

Photographs kindly reproduced with the permission of Hastoe Housing Association. Photographs kindly reproduced with the permission of Hastoe Housing Association. Photos by Pinnacle Photo Agency.

Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), cut the ribbon on a pioneering development of affordable and environmentally-friendly homes by the Hastoe Housing Association in Dartmoor on Friday, 17 October.

The small development in the village of Holne comprises seven houses reserved for rent by people with a connection to the local area.

Mr Spiers visited the properties before planting the thousandth fruit tree in the ‘orchard’ which spans the gardens and communal spaces of all Hastoe developments.

The Holne properties are built to high environmental and design standards and are equipped with under-floor heating, composters and air source heat pumps supplemented by solar thermal electricity.

Residents moved in in July, marking the culmination of nearly twenty years of community-led debate on affordable housing in the village.

A local housing group was founded in 2007, and undertook a housing needs survey across two parishes. The group nominated Hastoe to deliver the homes, and the project was built by Bibio, a small contractor based in nearby Tavistock.

Speaking after the opening ceremony, Mr Spiers said:

“It has been a pleasure to open what is a shining example of well-designed, affordable and sustainable housing, and to meet residents who are now able to stay in a community they know and love.

“Local planning and assessment has been central to this project, and we welcome the use of rural exception sites as a way to manage the often overlooked issue of rural housing need on a small scale.”

"I am delighted that CPRE Devon strongly supported this project. Enabling families to stay in rural areas is crucial to keeping communities together and maintaining thriving villages. We hope that this development will be one of many providing affordable rural housing to local people in a way that prioritises good design and sustainability.



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