Meet the winners of the Devon Rural Housing Partnership’s

Annual Rural Housing Awards

Meet the judges – Best Rural Development

Dr Matt Lobley, Co-Director, Centre for Rural Policy Research, Department of Politics, Exeter University

Cllr Ken Browse, Chairman of the Devon Association of Local Councils and Chair of Halberton Parish Council

Meet the judges – Outstanding Community Contribution

Dr Richard Yarwood, Associate Professor (Reader) in Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences,

Plymouth University

Matt Dodd, Senior Specialist Rural and Communities, Homes and Communities Agency

Cllr Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Community, Public Health, Transportation and Environmental Services, Devon County Council

Meet the sponsors

These awards would not be possible without the support and sponsorship of the organisations listed below.  We are extremely grateful to them.

·         Westward Housing Association

·         Southwestern Housing Society

Best Rural Development

Winner: Layne Fields, Christow – Teign Housing

What the judges said: The development has a great sense of space and the passivhaus design incorporates many extra features and details that ensure that the homes are highly sustainable, cheap to run and a pleasure to live in.”

Key Features

  • These are the first Passivhaus homes built in a National Park in the world.
  • The design gives annual fuel bills of around £60 and is sustainable and innovative.
  • The homes are built on a steep site which has been terraced to give a spacious feel and have superb views of Dartmoor
  • There is a lot of attention to detail in the homes with additional designed-in features such as rainwater collection tanks and water butts, large sheds, built in internet connections around the homes and a high quality finish.

Runner up: Reeves Way, Churchstow

What the judges said: “A visually striking design mixing timber cladding, render and stonework. The rooms are very light and bright with large windows and the open plan design downstairs adds to the spaciousness of the homes. The finish is of a very high quality.”

Key Features

  • Modern, eye-catching design giving an urban feel to a rural location.
  • The properties benefit from air source heat pumps so are economical to run and use sustainable energy.
  • The homes have large floor to ceiling windows which give a light, airy feel.
  • There are a mix of sizes and tenures in the development, including properties for affordable rent, shared ownership and open market sale.

Outstanding Community Contribution

Winner: Chagford Community Land Trust

What the judges said: “The group has become a key partner in a complex scheme that involves not only affordable housing but community responsibility for other assets such as car parking. In order to be successful in this the community group have used their professional experience to establish their position in the scheme.”

Key Accomplishments

  • First CLT in the area to work with a private developer rather than a housing association, risking being left out of the development at any time if the developer found the CLT’s involvement to be counter-productive.
  • Far larger development than other CLTs involving a new fire station and private housing.
  • Numerous meetings held with the local community to keep them involved throughout the process and to persuade them that the CLT could deliver the scheme.
  • Won the respect of the local community, Parish Council, developers and all other organisations involved with their business like approach and varied skill set.
  • Developed extremely impressive website.

Runner up: Appledore Community Land Trust

What the judges said: “An inspiration and proof that even when things look ‘dead in the water’ creative thinking, perseverance and sensibly directed funding can unlock any scheme.”

Key Accomplishments

  • Overcame many obstacles on steep site which was expensive and difficult to develop.
  • Used own funds to ensure that the scheme came forward.
  • Negotiated to have 2 ransom strips released without cost.
  • Arranged own door to door survey to consult widely with community and inform them about the project.
  • Small CLT with all 3 board members being born and bred in Appledore and determined to bring affordable housing to their village.