A community-led project which has been a decade in the making, has been handed over to the community in Appledore, Devon. The collection of new homes for local people in Appledore, is now complete with residents having moved into their new homes this summer.

The site at Ridge View Crescent has been developed by housing association Aster Group in partnership with Appledore Community Land Trust (CLT).

The selection of nine one-, two- and three- bedroom homes have been built by EBC Enelco Ltd and designed by Trewin Design Architects, and are all affordable rent properties, helping those locally find somewhere to live.

The nine homes were ‘handed over’ to the community during an event on Wednesday 9 October, which saw attendees welcomed and thanked by Peter Reveley of Appledore CLT and Amanda Williams, Group development director from Aster Group, before having a tour from one of the new residents in their new home.

Attendees on the day included representatives from Homes England, the National Housing Federation (NHF) and Torridge District Council who came to witness the milestone event.

The award-winning site was recognised in the 2017/18 Rural Housing Award for Outstanding Community Contribution for its excellence and commitment to overcoming challenges to bring affordable housing to Appledore. The development has been a long time in the making since the three CLT directors, who were all born and bred in Appledore, purchased the site nine years ago.

Peter Reveley from the CLT explained: “We’ve worked tirelessly to provide affordable housing in the parish for many years. We’ve worked alongside Aster to bring the site forward despite challenges around the slope of the site and viability issues due to the amount of engineering work that was required. This event is a significant one as it symbolises all of the hard work that has gone into delivering these homes. The CLT will retain ownership of the land and Aster will manage and maintain the properties and tenancies. It’s been a fantastic partnership.” 

Amanda Williams, Group development director at Aster said: “This project is an exemplary community-led housing development where we have worked with the local people to shape and deliver homes that the community truly needs. It means that nine households have been able to stay in the area near the people the places they love. At Aster we have a vision that everyone has a home. We want to provide a mixture of housing options to fit different needs and this site is no exception.”

Matt Dodd, rural and communities manager at Homes England said: “It is fantastic to see this type of community led scheme come to fruition. Homes England was pleased to be able to support these much-needed affordable homes in Appledore. The partnership working demonstrated on this scheme and the perseverance of the community is truly inspirational.”

Nikki Knowles, external affairs manager South West for the NHF said: “The Ridge View Crescent housing development is spectacular, both in terms of design and quality, but also in the contribution they will make to the local community; enabling nine local families to remain in Appledore. It’s great to see Aster working with the Community Land Trust, Torridge District Council, Homes England and the local community to deliver homes that will be affordable in perpetuity, ensuring there will always be homes for local people.

Pete Watson, Lead Member for Planning and Development at Torridge District Council said: Torridge Councillor said: “The lack of affordable housing across Torridge remains a significant challenge for both our residents and the Council. With this in mind its really heartening that we have been able to deliver such a significant number of affordable units that will directly benefit local Appledore residents. Its also a great example of the Council working in partnership with other organisations to make this a reality. Although the Council allocated £520K to the project it has been a great team effort with the Appledore Community Land Trust, Aster Housing Association, and Homes England that has realised the delivery of these nine units. Hopefully we will be able to build on this success and continue to deliver further sites in the near future.”  

For more information about Aster Group visit www.aster.co.uk.