New Funding Success!
We have been awarded some “blended” funding of £70,000 – half loan and half grant - from CAF Venturesome in collaboration with Power to Change. This will fund the new planning application and include some other pre-development costs. CAF Venturesome is the social investment arm of the Charities Aid Foundation who have been active supporters of Transition Homes with a £30K pre-development loan in the early years, agreeing £400k social investment for the build and now this new funding too – Hooray for CAF! Link to their Community Led Housing Fund here.
TRESOC Funding To Deliver Clay Park Solar Energy Feasibility study
We have had the fabulous news that local community owned social business TRESOC (Totnes Renewable Energy Society) has been awarded a Rural Community Energy Fund grant of almost £30,000. This funding will be used to carry out a feasibility study into the development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array plus on-site battery storage and electric vehicle charging points for the Transition Homes site at Clay Park. More info on Tresoc website here.
If the study proves successful, a micro-grid will be set up to supply the site, taking renewable solar energy direct to residents at a below-market rate. It is estimated that the PV array could generate 180,000 kWh of energy on which residents will save approximately 10%. As well as improving local energy resilience, this would save an estimated 45 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually.
Sally Murrall-Smith, TRESOC’s Operations Manager said, “The grant, worth £29,156, will be used to evaluate the economic viability of the scheme, design the system, determine the best technology mix, and cover organisational and legal costs, community engagement and project management.”
TRESOC intends to raise the capital to install the solar PV panels, microgrid, and operating system, estimated to cost £180,000, thorough a community share-offer. Clay Park residents will be able to purchase shares in the scheme if they so wish.
There are also plans to develop an on going renewable energy education programme in partnership with local schools and Clay Park residents.
The feasibility grant was provided by the Rural Community Energy Fund, a government scheme administered by the South West Energy Hub in partnership with Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.
TRESOC Community Engagement Events
Part of the funding has been allocated to a community engagement programme to run alongside the study. This will comprise:
- Four Walk & Talk (site visits) during the first week in September, exploring the site and giving an opportunity to ask questions in an informal manner. These will be open to general public and be timetabled at weekends and during weekdays to make it easier for people to attend. Children welcome and there will be child-friendly activities on site so parents can give their attention to the tour
- Focus groups in mid-September. For people interested in living at Clay Park
- An evening talk at the end of September outlining the results of the study so far. This will be open to the general public
If you are interested in attending any of the events, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Planning Application
Our new plan to include 8 more homes is in pre-application phase with South Hams, but of course has been delayed due to COVID restrictions. We are in regular contact with them to keep the ball rolling and hoping to hear something soon.
For those of you unaware of the new plans more information on this application and feedback from the community consultation we held in February can be found on our website.
Planning granted to create flats in two of our affordable houses
The CLT is working with local organisations Young Devon and Robert Owen Communities (now part of United Response) to deliver some of the affordable rental units specifically for young people with support needs and adults with learning disabilities, to create an inclusive community at Clay Park.
Both these organizations felt that their clients would be best served by having small self contained spaces rather than having to share facilities. We have now had our long-outstanding planning application approved to convert two of the affordable houses into flats in order to accommodate this need. More info and plans can be found on our website.