Affordable homes … a step closer

2 November 2018 – THE affordable homes needed in Colyton and Colyford have potentially moved a crucial step closer with the submission of Homes England’s planning application for redevelopment of the former CeramTec site.

In acknowledging progress, the newly formed Colyton and Colyford Community Land Trust has also welcomed the prospect of involvement in the project and reinforced its commitment to ensuring that priority is given to providing homes prioritised for local people.

In summary
o Our role is to deliver genuinely affordable homes in perpetuity
o Homes England has confirmed that it is keen to work with us on the CeramTec redevelopment
o We welcome potential involvement in the affordable homes element of the project
o We acknowledge Homes England’s wider national commitment to affordable housing
o Homes England’s involvement could produce the affordable element early in the life of the development
o By retaining the freehold throughout the development phase, Homes England can ensure the final number of affordable homes.

Homes England’s application, which is currently awaiting a decision from East Devon District Council, envisages 22 affordable homes amongst the total of 74 proposed for the overall development.

The planning statement that accompanies the application confirms that Homes England is working with the Community Land Trust to explore options for the long-term ownership and management of the affordable rent units, and potentially also the development’s open space.

Says CLT Chairman Charles Hill: “It is not our remit to comment on the planning detail, but we are obviously keen to ensure that the site makes a contribution to the affordable housing needs of local people, and we are certainly encouraged by progress.There is some way to go and we have to hope that the developer ultimately chosen by Homes England for this site also sees the benefit of working with a community provider for the affordable element.”

The CLT’s board noted Homes England’s wider national commitment to affordable housing, which includes a £163m fund for community-led housing groups to build new homes that was launched earlier this year.

The CLT ambitions were set out in its launch presentation in July, when it explained its status as a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. It also outlined its remit as a steward of genuinely affordable housing, not just now but in perpetuity.

The board believes the lead taken by Homes England has particular merit because it seeks to ensure that affordable housing on the former CeramTec site forms an integral part of (and contributes to) the overall development. Importantly, Homes England’s method of securing delivery enables a strong element of control over the final number of affordable homes delivered.

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