Transition Homes CLT

What's it all about?

We're a small charity run by volunteers and yet we have bought land at Clay Park, Dartington, and obtained planning permission for a £6m affordable housing scheme - we do a lot with a little!

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Transition Homes Community Land Trust (CLT) was set up in 2010 by the Building and Housing Group within Transition Town Totnes. Since then, the same group of volunteers have been working on developing a low carbon affordable housing scheme. They purchased land at Clay Park in Ashburton Road, Dartington in 2013 with the assistance of generous loans from local benefactors and went on to secure planning permission to provide 23 units of affordable housing and 16 units for the open market, designed to be built to a high specification that would minimise carbon in the build as well as being energy efficient for future residents to reduce heating.

There have been many setbacks along the way, with delays securing planning consent for a scheme that was financially viable, but the project has been sustained by the unstinting support of the local community.

In September 2022, just as the project was close to agreeing the funding to start work on developing the site, the ‘mini budget’ that month increased the expected interest on development loans to an unaffordable
level, which was devastating news.

However, thanks to South Hams District Council, discussions are now being held with with Aster, a housing association with a 10-year track record of working with community led housing groups. Aster has funding from government grants and its own assets available to invest in the scheme, not only to ensure its viability but also to make all 39 units social rental or shared ownership. The project no longer needs open market
houses to sell to provide a cross subsidy. With South Hams having declared a housing crisis locally, this is great news as all the units will be allocated to people in housing need who have a local connection to
Dartington, Totnes and the adjacent parishes. Aster is committed to meeting EPC A standards to keep fuel bills low and aims to meet the low carbon build specification as closely as possible to the original plans.

Transition Homes will keep the freehold of the whole site and will be leasing the area occupied by the homes to Aster to build and manage in return for an initial payment to repay its debts and a regular rental. With this, some of the original team will continue to manage the open space for public access, nature restoration and food growing, as well as build and run the community centre to help Clay Park be a resilient, supportive community for all.

Work is well underway on all the legal and technical details, and there will be more news about the timescales for starting work on site soon. Transition Homes CLT will continue to send out bulletins to everyone on their mailing list, so those hoping to eventually live there will be kept informed of progress and next steps.

To join the mailing list please go to the sign-up page here:

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