Building and Housing

Transition Homes grant success & other news

Published on: June 26th, 2020


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

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. 

Eco and Community Homes Fair 2018

Published on: October 9th, 2018


October 20 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Totnes Civic Hall, Market Square, Totnes.

FREE entry, free talks, workshops, stalls and children's activities.




Drop into the Civic Hall, Totnes, anytime between 10 am and 3 pm.  Meet suppliers of eco-friendly goods and services, home energy installers, eco-builders, architects and others, learn about how to make your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly, and find out about community-led housing solutions!

The fair also features free talks and workshops, as well as children’s activities to give parents time to look around. This year Food in Community will be running the cafe, selling delicious treats made from grade out produce that would otherwise be wasted.


10.00 – 10.30 Building a low cost eco-home (Nicola Lang)

Nicola Lang is on a mission to build her own low cost eco-home from local natural materials. In this talk Nicola will share the ‘story so far’ - the highs and the lows, the highlights and the challenges of project managing and building her own home, including information about sourcing the straw and timber for the build.



10.45 – 11.30 Overcoming barriers to innovation in affordable housing (Tim Crabtree)

Tim Crabtree works with Wessex Community Assets, which is supporting 40 community-led housing projects across Devon, Dorset and Somerset. In the talk and discussion, Tim will explore how we can overcome barriers to innovation in affordable housing – including through open source design, off-site prefabrication, new financing arrangements, government support and the use of land trusts and co-operative structures.


11.45 – 12.45 Community-led housing 'Voices from the coal face'

Representatives of local community housing projects’ (Transition Homes, South Brent and Broadhempston Community Land Trusts plus more TBC) will discuss the progress they have made in developing affordable housing for local people, some of the joys and challenges and their top tips to anyone contemplating a similar project.


13.00 – 13.45 Regenerative Settlement – How to Build New Sorts of Places That Are Good for People and the Planet (James Shorten)

Many people want to live a more sustainable life, to live closer to nature and each other, but are often frustrated in finding somewhere where they can do so, even in Totnes, where living more sustainably can be harder and more expensive than more conventional ways of living. James Shorten will discuss why the planning system, despite its apparently good intentions, is failing to deliver places where living (much) more sustainably is easy, and explore what we (the people who want to do so) can do about it.


14.15 – 14.45 Britain’s Housing Crisis: a People-Powered Solution? (Peg Alexander - Documentary)

Less than half of us know our neighbours. And Britain's housing crisis means that we’re running out of homes, fast. But there’s a quiet revolution going on… In this 30-minute documentary, Peg Alexander meets some of the people who are taking control of their housing in an attempt to create better places to live. Some are fighting the demolition of perfectly good homes, whilst others are designing brand new, close-knit communities within their cities. Can they really make a difference? Released in September this year, this new documentary explores people-powered solutions to Britain’s Housing Crisis.



Open Eco Homes Weekend 2018

Published on: September 25th, 2018


5th-7th October

Transition Town Totnes is proud to present the 2018 Open Eco Home Weekend! 

From the traditional to the unconventional, you can visit inspiring homes in Totnes and the surrounding area which are at different stages on the journey to reducing their energy bills and environmental impact, and renewable energy projects making us less dependent on fossil fuels.

The Open Eco Homes weekend is all about providing inspiring examples of homes (and other projects) that have reduced their environmental impact, and renewable energy projects that are contributing to a low carbon economy.

From community building projects to renewable energy installations, renovated historic properties and retrofitted homes, there will be an abundance of inspiration!

There is no central location over the weekend but you can find programmes at Totnes Library and the TTT notice board in the Mansion, which will let you know the locations of the eco homes and projects and the times they are giving tours over the weekend. There will also be a special Eco Homes Transition Walk on Saturday 6th, from 1.30pm-5.30pm starting in the Market Square- please book beforehand.

You can also download the programme along with a helpful map onto your computer or phone:


Directions to Raythorn's Barn, Dean Prior, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0LT

Open for tours on Sunday 7th October between 11am-1pm

This is a bit of a tricky one to find so here are some extra directions:

The sat nav will take you to a bungalow on the edge of an open field. If you have approached from the A38 and the bungalow is on your right then continue down the lane for approximately 500 metres. Go past the brick walled entrance on your left and the entrance to Rathorne's Barn is signposted on the same side just after that.
If you are approaching from the opposite direction and don't spot the sign on your right, you may have to turn around.
Please note that there is limited parking and the property is still under construction so please take care.




If you have any queries about the events please contact us by emailing, or calling 01803 867358

Eco Homes Events: an invitation to Participate

Published on: June 12th, 2018


Book your stall at The Totnes Eco and Community Homes Fair                                     

Saturday 20th October 2018, 10am - 3pm, Civic Hall, Totnes

This year’s Eco and Community Homes Fair will be an inspiring, day-long programme of workshops, speakers and stalls all centred around the theme of eco, affordable and community housing. Past exhibitors and speakers have included renewable energy organisations, green builders, community led housing, and self builders.


With a diverse mix of over 20 exhibitors, last year’s fair attracted over 500 people. And this year promises to be even bigger and better!

So, join us in exploring the related issues including land-use, transport and travel, economics and the housing crisis and examining the obstacles, barriers and solutions.

Exhibition space is available for just £110 per exhibitor and a 50% discount is available to all not-for-profit organisations.

Book before the end of June and receive a 10% discount.

For a booking form or to find out about advertising opportunities in our programme, please contact Tracy at


Can we include your home in the Open Eco Homes weekend 2018?

This year, Transition Town Totnes is organising the tenth Open Eco-Homes weekend, which runs between 5th-7th October.

From the traditional to the unconventional, this weekend gives members of the public the opportunity to  visit inspiring eco-homes in and around Totnes, to highlight how it's possible to reduce our energy bills and environmental impact of our homes.

We’re currently on the lookout for new homes and projects that are contributing to a low carbon future, so please get in touch with Tracy at if you’d like to share ideas.

Advertisements are also available in the Open Eco-Homes programme. These cost:

  • £35 for a colour single advert (landscape: w90mm x h50mm)
  • or £60 for a double avert (portrait: w90mm x h100mm).

The deadline for all bookings is 31st July and the copy is required by 7th August. Please note, images must be a minimum of 300 dpi and supplied as PNG or JPEG files

For additional information please contact




Transition Homes is a Community Land Trust (CLT); a non-profit organisation set up to deliver affordable housing and other community facilities. This open event, taking place at Dartington Village Hall, is an opportunity to find out about Clay Park, ask questions, contribute ideas, and discuss how you can get involved.

We're inviting people from Dartington, Totnes and the surrounding parishes to get involved in the CLT by becoming a member, a Trustee or a volunteer. This is an opportunity to be part of an inspiring project creating a low impact, resilient community of sustainable and affordable homes in Dartington - and to develop further schemes.

If you are interested in getting involved, please come along to one of the open meetings or if you can't make it, email us on

Join the CLT

Anyone living or working in the community can join the CLT as a member (it only costs £1).  Members play an active part in the CLT’s work, supporting and guiding the work, making sure it is community-led and electing the board of Trustees.

Become a Trustee

We’re looking particularly for people with experience of financial management, and of running voluntary organisations, but would welcome anyone who has skills/experience and time to contribute. Find out more here.


There is plenty of work to do! If you’ve practical skills to help manage the site before construction,  can help with events/workshops, or have experience in communication, marketing or sales (particularly around housing), fundraising, building community, or graphic design, or can generally spare some time to help progress the Clay Park scheme, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more at the even or email us on

More information on the Transition Homes CLT website.