The Devon Rural Housing Partnership are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Rural Housing Awards which recognise excellence and commitment in delivering affordable housing to rural communities in Devon.
The categories this year were:
- Outstanding Community Contribution
- Best Rural Development
The Outstanding Community Contribution award is given to a particularly committed community group that have worked hard to overcome many challenges to bring affordable housing to their community.
This year’s winner was Denbury Parish Council. The Parish Council has worked hard for over 6 years to provide affordable housing in the parish. They had to overcome significant problems along the way, the biggest challenge being to find a suitable site, which they did by working closely with Teignbridge District Council and the Rural Housing Team at Devon Communities Together. The Parish Council held several public meetings and consultations along the way, one of which brought forward the owner of the site, and kept the community informed and involved throughout the process. They have worked with Southwestern Housing Society to prepare a local lettings plan to ensure that the homes go to local people. A turf cutting ceremony was held on 14th November which was attended by Janice Alexander, the Rural Housing Enabler.
They will be awarded a cash prize to spend on a community project of their choice.
The Best Rural Development award is given to the best rural development completed in Devon in the last financial year. The judges take the standard of design, consideration of the local vernacular and engagement with the local community into account.
This year’s winners are Hastoe for their development of 8 affordable homes at Higher Shippon, Cheriton Bishop.
The judges found this development to be attractive with a great sense of space. The homes are built to a high standard of sustainability with air source heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery which keep fuel bills low as well as making the homes more sustainable. They also felt that the homes complemented the local vernacular with slate roofs and practical porches that blended in well.
This year’s judges were Cllr Roger Croad - Devon County Council, Matt Dodd - Homes England and Dr Richard Yarwood, - University of Plymouth who judged the Outstanding Community Contribution award and Professor Matt Lobley - Exeter University and Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research and Ken Browse -Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, who judged the Best Rural Development award.
We would like to thank this year’s sponsors of the awards - Hastoe Housing Association, Southwestern Housing Association, Cornerstone Housing and Aster Group.
The standard of nominees was extremely high this year and the judges were very impressed with the quality of the finished developments and the commitment and hard work that was undertaken by the community groups and nominated housing associations.