So the last couple of months have been filled with fascinating tasks like appointing solicitors and arranging updated valuations for the land and planned homes at Clay Park and reading lengthy funding “heads of terms” documents.
Our newly appointed contractors have been doing a detailed costing for us so the next steps there will be working some more with them looking at our budget to see what we can easily cut back on or things that could be delivered differently to save a few pounds.
As well as working on cost-cutting we’ve been going through the application process with CAF Venturesome social investment charity to raise funds for the development in collaboration Triodos Bank.
We have now received the good news that CAF has approved £400k of investment.
Meanwhile more good news on the planning front!
We’ve been waiting some time for a decision on our detailed planning application for the community building and we have just had through the news that it has been approved. So thanks to all of you who sent in letters of support, and all the input that went into developing the plans via our events and community consultation.
The building will provide so many functions and bring people together - both residents of Clay Park, and the local community. It's a timber-framed building with straw bale insulated walls on three sides, and a cob south-facing wall. This south wall will be made with a newly developed highly-insulating cob mix which also provides a thermal mass store for the passive solar heat created by glazing along the front of the community building. We plan to work in collaboration with our contractor and the CobBauge Project at the University of Plymouth who will monitor and collect data for their research into this method of cob building. We're also looking at how to facilitate opportunities for the community to get involved in building it... watch this space.
Below shows the drawings that the South Hams planning department have approved. The building will include the communal laundry space for the whole site, visitors accommodation, a large kitchen /dining room and an office for the CLT to work from as well as a mezzanine floor for other events, meetings and general community use.