Cheriton Bishop Case Study
This case study is about a small group of Parish Councillors and other committed local people who took on the project of providing affordable housing for the community of Cheriton Bishop with the help of several different partners including the Rural Housing Enablers from Devon Communities Together.
The need for affordable housing in Cheriton Bishop had been recognised by the Parish Council since at least 2005 but no land was available. At the 2011 Annual Parish Meeting, the chair emphasised the need for affordable housing in the village and a public meeting was then held in the Village Hall. From this first well-attended meeting, plans were developed and several further public meetings followed. A Housing Needs Survey was carried out in 2012 by Devon Communities Together, and refreshed in 2014 showing a need for 19 affordable units.
A Community Land Trust (CLT) was incorporated in 2013 and the Rural Housing Enablers regularly attended the CLT meetings to offer support and advice, especially around housing need and allocations.
The project met with a number of challenges along the way. These include overcoming local opposition, overcoming difficulties in identifying suitable sites and overcoming ecological and other problems once a site was found. Due to national changes in affordable housing funding 2 housing associations were appointed to take the project forward but were unable to do so for financial reasons.
Eventually Hastoe Housing were appointed as the Registered Provider who would build and manage the homes. Mid Devon District Council also provided extra funding for the scheme from their Community Housing Fund. The CLT would receive a ground rent for the homes of £4 per unit per year. This money will go towards community projects.
The planning application was passed unanimously by committee and the scheme went on site in 2018 with the completion of 8 homes for affordable rent in 2019. All of the homes went to people with a local connection to Cheriton Bishop and will remain affordable and for local people in perpetuity.
As a result of their hard work the Cheriton Bishop CLT were awarded the Devon Rural Housing Award for Outstanding Community Contribution in 2018 and Hastoe Housing received the award for Best Rural Development for the scheme in 2019.
This scheme illustrates the fact that with the hard work, commitment and perseverance of a few local people working with partnership agencies, good quality Community Led Housing can be brought forward in rural areas.